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Closing day nears for some Barnes & Noble stores, including St. Paul, Rochester

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Barnes & Noble is writing the last chapter for a few of its Minnesota locations, closing them on New Year's Eve. St. Paul's popular Highland Park store, a unique Rochester location and the Apple Valley bookstore will all shut down Wednesday.

For two decades, the Highland Park location has been a community staple. Barnes & Noble's Vice President of Development David Deason tells the Pioneer Press the store was performing well, but the lease wasn't renewed.

"Ultimately, it really wasn't our decision. We worked diligently to extend the lease. ... This property owner decided to go in a different direction," Deason says.

He does suggest the company could consider opening another store in the area, but the search for a location hasn't started.

The Barnes and Noble space will become the smallest-ever TargetExpress, which is the new Target concept for an urban one-stop shop that's more intimate than the superstore model.

Rochester store is one of several longtime businesses closing 

The Rochester location is closing its distinct store that is built in the historic Chateau Theatre - a building that is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rochester store moved into the theater 15 years ago.

It's uncertain what will happen to the theater once Barnes & Noble moves out.  ABC 6 News reports the Rochester City Council has not yet received any submissions for a reuse of the building.

Several long-time businesses in Rochester are closing their doors. MPR says the city is in the early stages of a 20-year plan to reinvent itself as Mayo expands. An estimated 32,000 new residents are expected to move to Rochester in the next 20 years.

Other New Year's Eve closures include Michael's Restaurant, which has been around since 1951. Hanny's Men's and Women's Wear is closing its downtown store after 75 years.

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