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After being pushed out of downtown, beloved Half Price Books finds new home in Concord

CONCORD — After being pushed out of its longtime downtown location , Half Price Books will relocate in Concord later this year.
According to an announcement from the city of Concord, Half Price Books will reopen in late November or early December in the former Aaron Brothers Art and Framing store in the Willows Shopping Center on Diamond Boulevard.
Half Price Books, which started in 1972 in Texas and now has about 120 stores selling and buying new and used books, movies, CDs and vinyl records, had been in its downtown Concord location since 2001. It closed that store earlier this month after its new landlord decided to not renew the bookstore’s lease.
Hundreds commented on the city’s Facebook post about the reopening of the store, mostly expressing joy that it would stay in Concord, but some lamented that it was leaving the downtown area. Some expressed concern that it will compete with Barnes and Noble, which is opening in the adjacent shopping center, the Veranda, next week.
Retail development firm Paragon Commercial Group, LLC and San Francisco-based Long Market Property Partners, LLC purchased the downtown building that previously housed Half Price Books, as well as the rest of the block. The entire 2.15-acre property was 100 percent occupied at the time, according to a news release the firms issued then.
New tenants there include a Chipotle, Burgerim (burgers), Ramen 101, Fire Wings and Cinnaholic, a vegan cinnamon roll chain whose initial Berkeley shop has spawned a franchise.
But others have been forced out.
A 25 year-old Thai restaurant, Bangkok Kitchen, was pushed out of its longtime space on the Galindo St. side of the block, due to what restaurant owner Peter Bumphenboon said was a new lease that would more than double his rent. The new lease offered by the property owners would raise his monthly rent from $5,200 to $11,000 — more than he can afford, he said.
The property owners have not publicly announced what will move into the former Half Price Books store in Todos Santos or returned multiple requests for comment, but according to the Concord Communities Alliance, it will be a Bank of America.

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