Amazon is opening a Manhattan bookstore this spring

The 4,000 square foot store will be located at Time Warner Center.

David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon is opening a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the middle of Manhattan sometime this spring, the company told the WSJ in an email. That confirms a rumor from last summer that it would launch a New York City location, though the retail giant is opening it sooner than expected and in a different spot. Rather than being at the upcoming Hudson Yards development, projected to open in late 2018, it'll be located at Time Warner Center in Midtown at the edge of Central Park.

The company could still open another location or move to Hudson Yards once the development is complete. It may have been tempted by the Central Park location because Manhattan rents are dropping due to pressure from online stores like, well, Amazon.

Amazon currently has three bookstores, all on the west coast, in Seattle, Portland and San Diego. However, it's planning to head eastward by opening two in Chicago and Massachusetts. Interestingly, the company charges Prime members less for books at its physical locations, but kindly lets you sign up for a membership in-store. As with other products like Prime Video, Prime Music and the Lending Library, the goal with brick-and-mortar stores is not necessarily to just sell you books, but entice you to sign up for its real moneymaker -- Prime.