The suburban St. Louis bookstore ended its four-week Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to renovate its new retail space, on Sunday. The store raised $12,280 from 314 backers, exceeding its $10,000 goal.
The funds raised are being used to build out 2,000 square feet in the 8,500 square foot building in Maplewood, Mo. that it has leased. The 100-year-old building, which used to house a department store, has lain empty for more than 20 years. While contractors are working to bring that section of the building up to building and retail code compliance, Book House staff has been putting up bookshelves and shelving as many of the 200,000+ books moved to the new location this fall as space permits. A 600-square-foot storefront opened for business for the first time the weekend after Thanksgiving and will be open on weekends before Christmas while construction continues during the week.
"It's a raw space," Michelle Barron, the Book House’s owner, told PW this morning, explaining that while the store has no electricity or heat, the city still allowed it to open for Small Business Saturday and weekends during the holidays. The store hopes to be up to code by New Year's Eve.
The Book House, which was founded in 1986, was evicted in September from its original location, a 150-year-old Victorian house in Rock Hill, Mo. by the building’s owner, a developer who wanted to tear it down and build an industrial storage facility in its place.
Barron said that the renovations to the bookstore’s retail space are estimated to cost a total of $100,000; the work is being done in three stages. The third and final stage will involve renovating another 4,000 square feet of the building, including setting up an event space. Barron plans on starting that third and final phase next year, after raising or borrowing another $50,000.