Internet boom is a bust for some

While Blockbuster closes, ex-Barnes and Noble site expects new lessee in 60 days

In the age of the Internet, traditional companies continue to struggle to keep up with new, more modern business approaches. Last week, employees of Blockbuster on Washington Street in Hoboken told customers that the store would soon close on March 13. Meanwhile, the landlord of the former Barnes & Noble bookstore a few blocks down said that they have interest from a lot of companies and expect a new tenant soon.
The last rentals from Blockbuster were distributed on Thursday, Feb. 3, and now the staff will sell the remaining inventory until the final closing date. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September. Up against online subscription services like Netflix, alternatives such as Redbox, and home video ordering systems like movies OnDemand, Blockbuster has struggled to stay profitable.


“We’ve been getting a lot of interest in the property.” – Jeff Koenig

One employee, when asked if he knew what was going to replace the store, said it would be hard find a new tenant, “given the price of the rent” of the property. The employee did not disclose the rent total. The corporate headquarters in Texas did not return phone calls.
The company is selling used DVDs and other items until the closing date.

Coming soon

Another large company that met its demise in Hoboken was Barnes and Noble, which shut down 13 months ago. The location, 59 Washington St., played host to a Halloween store during the fall season, but still remains vacant.
Jeff Koenig of Washington Hudson Associates LP, the landlord of the former Barnes and Noble site, said he is hopeful that something will return to the site soon.
“We’ve been talking and dealing with national tenants,” Koenig said, without disclosing the names of the interested parties. “We’re optimistic. We’ve been getting a lot of interest in the property. We’re hoping to sign something in the next 30 to 60 days.”
Depending on what is proposed, the plans might have to be approved by the city of Hoboken.
Ann Holtzman is the zoning officer in Hoboken. “We have not received any applications from anyone, nor, to my knowledge, has the zoning or planning board regarding [the former Barnes and Noble] site,” Holtzman said on Thursday.
As far as predicting the next interested party in the large, two-story site where Blockbuster will continue to operate for the next month, the city is as unsure as the public (and the Blockbuster employees) of what will emerge.
“There has been no action on that site either,” Holtzman said.
Ray Smith may be reached at

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group