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Can Tsunami Stay Open On Willamette?

Scott Landfield of Tsunami Books wants to keep his Bookstore Alive. Photo: Trask Bedortha
Scott Landfield of Tsunami Books wants to keep his Bookstore Alive. Photo: Trask Bedortha

After 21 years in business at its 2585 Willamette Street location, Tsunami Books is hoping it can hang on for another 20. But it’s going to take a bit of a Hail Mary, Tsunami proprietor Scott Landfield says. 

Previously, Landfield says, he thought that when the lease runs out in July it was over for the longtime bookstore and venue. But now he says a recent phone call with the property owner, Morgan Dollar LLC, has given him hope he can raise the funds to stay. 

Landfield expects his $4,000 a month rent to more than double. He says he’s trying to pull together some angels (“whatever that means”) to help fund the bookstore in the coming years. Angel investors typically invest in early stage or start-up companies in exchange for an equity ownership interest. In Tsunami’s case, the angels would be investing in a longtime Eugene institution.

“I’m trying to pull together people who don’t want to donate to the Ducks or OCT [Oregon Contemporary Theatre] or the symphony,” Landfield says. “It’s kind of seat-of-the-pants before Christmas,” he adds.

He says he’s tried crowdfunding before and is looking to the Oregon Intrastate Offering Exemption rules that kicked in on Jan. 15, 2015, as part of the plan. Under the OIO exemption, Oregon-based businesses can raise up to $250,000 from fellow Oregonians.

Tsunami is a closely held neighborhood shareholder corporation, Landfield says, with 45 shareholders. And that’s also a way to bring other people in. 

And as long as he’s bringing other people in, Landfield, who is 63, is hoping to find another co-owner for the bookstore. “Young energy,” he says of his hopes for a partner. He says Tsunami, as a bookstore and community center, was originally conceived as a two-person operation. 

“People keep saying, ‘Tsunami can’t close, they will step up,’” Landfield says, and people have identified themselves as angels.

“I don’t want to close,” Landfield says.

Want to get involved? Contact Landfield at tsunami1@opusnet.com or follow his efforts at facebook.com/tsunamibookseugene.