The fight isn't over yet for Feldman's Books, Menlo Park's last used bookstore | Town Square | Almanac Online |

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The fight isn't over yet for Feldman's Books, Menlo Park's last used bookstore

Original post made on Oct 30, 2019

For many local bookworms, Menlo Park is synonymous with a certain institution in town that starts with F and has "book" in its name. No, it's not Facebook. It's Feldman's Books, a used bookstore threatened with demolition.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 11:38 AM

Comments (8)

3 people like this
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 30, 2019 at 1:02 pm

How about the vacant thrift store next to Ann's on Santa Cruz. The landlord only wants $25k/month.

7 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 30, 2019 at 1:12 pm

El Camino and the immediate blocks surrounding El Camino in Menlo Park have something like 8 massive new building projects or reconstructions going on right now, some of which comprise a huge amount of land and new square footage being built. All of these projects are going to add some combination of houseing and retail space and the impact on this community, between the added businesses and families, is going to be huge. Am I the only one who finds the prospect of all this change at once rather alarming?

Aren't there any maximums for how many new projects and square feet can be added to a community at once? Especially one with no room to expand roadway arteries?

It seems so unwise to start another demolition and reconstruction project in the middle of all this ongoing construction, when we don't know if or when all of that new space is going to be filled or left vacant for years. The problem is, developers starting now and planning to get $5.45/sq.ft because of past shortages may find that, when the dust settles on 8 new developments, the over-supply depresses the price back down to $2.00/sq.ft.

Menlo Park Planning Commmission should assess whether or not all of this development is going to be filled or if we are going to have huge vacancy rates, before they rubber stamp yet another project adding the same type of footage as everything else, and which is not starting from unused space but which includes the demise of one of the most beloved local institutions that have made this town appealing in the fist place.

5 people like this
Posted by Enuff
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 30, 2019 at 1:20 pm

This policy of "Just Say Yes" to almost any and every development proposal is destroying the retail and small businesses in our city. More and more high-rise apartment complexes in the downtown will increase traffic and put additional strain on our schools and infrastructure, and most people want to live in single family homes with backyards, not in stack-and-pack housing projects that developers prefer to build so they can make more money.
I understand there's a lack of housing, but there must be other solutions that won't decimate our city's character and demolish the shops and stores we love and that provide the things we need and want.
I understand that Charisma salon and Koma Sushi are soon to be likewise placed under the chopping block.
What can be done?

3 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2019 at 1:35 pm

pearl is a registered user.

So sad to see what is happening to Menlo Park. I left Menlo Park 25 years ago, after having lived there for 50 years. So glad I did. Breaks my heart to see greedy landlords taking over the town.

5 people like this
Posted by Alma Reads
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 30, 2019 at 8:27 pm

Feldman's has to be considered a local treasure. With all the new tax revenue coming into the city from the many other new developments, this one would be little noticed no matter what is built there.
I agree this is a moral dilemma, we need the under-market housing and we need this outstanding used bookstore run by someone who really knows literature and books.
I plead for a 3rd way.

7 people like this
Posted by Ash
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 14, 2020 at 1:22 pm

I attended the planning commission hearing for deciding on the historic nature of the Feldman's building yesterday. The commissioners were sympathetic but unfortunately the motion against declaring it a historic building was carried in a close vote (4-3). The developer, Mr. Rapp, was sitting in one of the rows, and he did not seem to have much sympathy for the store or the building. He made a big deal about not evicting the owners with a 30 day notice even though he could have, and in terms of support for moving to another place, said that the best he had offered was some help on a Saturday. I would say that if Mr. Rapp feels he can move all 50,000 books in Feldman's to another location, he should knock himself out trying to do it. Another piece of civilization and culture sacrificed at the altar of "development".

2 people like this
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 14, 2020 at 2:19 pm


why is it the developers responsibility to help move the store? Maybe Aiden Stone and other patrons of the store should do something to help? Did anyone offer to help with higher rents or moving books? I doubt it.

if you want to a nice play to discover used books, the MP library is open everyday!

5 people like this
Posted by Progress
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 15, 2020 at 9:23 am

I love all of the long time Menlo whiners lamenting the loss of their beloved bookstore. Where were you all decades ago when they were bulldozing the gorgeous and productive orchards that filled the Penninsula? Oh yeah, saying that your homes were progress and farmers and nature lovers should come into the “real world.” Now the cycle repeats except you’re on the other end. Silicon Valley is becoming denser but you want to keep those newbies out of “your” beloved Menlo. Psssh. It never was yours. People in this town love the idea of a Feldman’s but where are your dollars? If you all dusted the cobwebs off your wallets and spent money there it wouldn’t be an issue because they would have the money to upgrade to new retail space. But you won’t. And the dingy building he’s in and the trash across the street will be redeveloped as it should, And new people will claim their beloved Menlo. Go find a small town in Trump country. They hate change too.

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