Sneak Peek: Let the construction begin!

Since signing the lease, our lives have been in a whirlwind. The outpouring of local Ann Arbor support is both awesome and incredible. The community has been fantastic. We apologize if we haven’t responded to all the messages and comments and questions — we’ve been working hard with our contractors to get this bookstore as open as soon as possible.

The big question: When?

We’re hoping early March. A lot of that depends on a variety of factors, including construction and build-out of the space. We are doing some improvements including a complete cosmetic redesign of the basement. Our store will be two levels of 1300 square foot space for a total of 2600. So, if you walk by Washington and 4th Ave. and peek inside, you’ll see an upstairs space that is an open, exposed brick, tin-ceiling cathedral of happiness and wonder. But if you peak down the staircase, the basement is (right now) a dungeon of gloom and doom and vague creepiness. Our challenge the next six weeks is to brighten up that dungeon, make it inviting, and turn it into a destination for book lovers and writers (as well as exorcising any ghosts who may still linger).

For those unfamiliar, here is a shot of the upstairs space. In the back will be a new bathroom, and we’ve worked with an architect to design our floor plan and general layout. It’s going to be an open, modern, well-lit upstairs space with a children’s section near the rear entrance.

Upstairs, from last month. If you peak inside now, you'll see a bathroom near the back.
Upstairs image taken last month. If you peak inside now, you’ll see the frame for a bathroom near the back.

Aaaaand here is the scary basement. While we could turn this into a nice haunted house area for children, haunted houses don’t sell books. We imagine it eventually as having a very cool, cozy vibe with possibly some seating and a space for groups to meet (book clubs, etc). But it’s going to take quite a bit of work. We’re generally cleaning it up, redoing the flooring, adding lots of lights, and painting. So, in short, a total transformation. We wish we had a magic wand to wave, but instead we’ve got some hard work cut out of us. Stay tuned…

A portion of the scary basement. In six weeks, this will look totally different. Call the Property Brothers!
A portion of the scary basement. In six weeks, this will look totally different.

Please continue supporting us on Facebook and on Twitter. Your Facebook messages and continued support are the fuel that gives us the pep in our step. Thank you all so much!

8 thoughts on “Sneak Peek: Let the construction begin!

  1. Katelyn Bush

    Hi Hilary and Mike! I was a few years behind Mike in high school and I grew up in Lowell. Just wanted to say congrats to you both – as a fellow lover of books and the written word, I am so excited for you. Nothing beats the smell and feel of a new book!

  2. Gene B.

    So very pleased about you guys coming! But please think twice about exorcising all the ghosts–the place has a lot of history and if you find a couple who promise to be good, maybe they could stay on and be company for the resident cat. (There will be a cat, no?)

    1. Boris

      I hope there is no cat, as I am allergic to them. If there should be a cat, they will have at least one less customer. I can’t even be in the same room with them.

      1. literatibookstore

        Boris – though we do love cats, there will not be a bookstore cat – we’ve got too many relatives who are very allergic and we assumed new customers would be, too. So when we open, feel free to come and browse allergy free!

  3. Donna Estabrook

    That is a nice old downtown building you have. I wonder about wheelchair access which I know is not easy or cheap to arrange in old buildings. I have a friend who is in a wheelchair, loves books and used to buy books regularly at Borders. I’m sure she would become your customer if she could get into your store and get to all the levels. I don’t see any ramp access from the street. Do you have any plans to make your store accessible?

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