C Is For Cookie, a cozy downtown café beloved by locals and tourists alike, will have to be shuttering its doors, Vísir reports. The reason behind the closure is a massive rent hike imposed upon the business by the company that bought the building.
The café was previously renting their retail space for 315,000 ISK per month. However, real estate company Gamma ehf. recently bought the building the café is in, and have begun operations on luxury apartments for tourists there. In the wake of this, Gamma raised the café’s rent to 650,000 ISK—an increase of 106%.
As such, Daníel Tryggvi Daníelsson, the owner of the café, tells reporters that he is now forced to close his doors.
“I’m not in this to slave myself into an early grave,” he told reporters. “So when you see this just go right into the pockets of some giant rental company, you just want to pack everything up and do something more fun.”
Daníel points out that other businesses in the area are also struggling to keep their doors open, and he is worried about how the matter will develop in the months to come.
“What’s changed the most is that the locals are gone,” he said. “We used to have a lot of locals in the buildings all around us. All these buildings have been bought up, and the residents have gone elsewhere. The buildings have instead been changed into some kind of guest accommodations and hotel apartments. If the tourists leave, too, there will be nothing left.”