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Church Street’s Aardvark Books building asks $2.85 million

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This could spell the end for the beloved used bookstore

The facade of Aardvark Books on Church Street. Courtesy Jordan Geller

Grim news for Aardvark Books, the Castro neighborhood bookstore noted for its antique vibe and its orange tabby cat near Church and Market Street.

The place isn’t going under due to a lack of sales or a rent hike, but rather because of the looming pressures of a still-hot real estate market.

As a reader pointed out to Hoodline, the 227 Church Street building went up for sale asking $2.85 million last Friday. For Aardvark fans, the listing sounds straightforward and depressing:

“227 Church St. is a single story commercial building that is currently occupied by Aardvark Books. The property will be delivered vacant at close of escrow and unencumbered by any leasehold interest. [...] Please do not disturb tenant or store employees.”

Aardvark Books opened at its Church Street location in 1978. Storeowner John Hadreas also owns the building.

In a tough one-two punch for fans of Castro small businesses, Aardvark sits a block away from Lucky 13, the longtime dive bar that just sold with redevelopment plans attached.

Other than an association with cats, the two businesses have little else in common. Nevertheless, it’s a series of blows to neighborhood character.

The ad for 227 Church touts that “the 3,125 square foot lot has highly accommodative NCT zoning with no density restrictions or parking requirements, a prime candidate for mixed-use development.”