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Please begin with an informative title:

Just about 2.5 months ago, self SNLC'ed about the pending eviction, if not demise, of The Book House in the STL municipality of Rock Hill.  Today on the Post-Dispatch's website, Steve Giegerich has this article that gives perhaps a sliver of hope for the store, if not the actual historic building.  There's one detail in the soap opera that I managed to miss (typical careless loser, that 3CM) in the situation, although part of me wonders if that detail was there to begin with.  More below the flip.....


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The detail that I missed involved a bit of non-payment of rent by Book House owner Michelle Barron:

".....Barron is scheduled to appear in a St. Louis Circuit Courtroom on July 25 to explain why current property owner Rex Stahl of Moscow Mills should not evict her by the end of the month.

Stahl filed the eviction papers after Barron balked at paying rent as the demolition of the Book House became imminent. Barron said the withheld rent reflected the cost of improvements she’s made to the Victorian since purchasing the business in 1986."

Granted, not paying rent is a bad thing, if only for your credit rating, never mind legal or moral obligations.  However, emotionally, in this context, I can understand, if not condone why Barron felt like blowing off paying the rent.  In the long run, why pay rent when the building you're renting is going to be demolished anyway?  The catch, of course, is that in the short term, one is obliged to pay the rent, pending demolition or no.

Regarding the eviction, Bill Bowman of Great Northern Development, the Michigan firm behind the EZ Storage construction project that will displace The Book House, did try to sound a more conciliatory tone regarding the eviction:

"Bowman is confident that last week’s developments, particularly the arrangement to relocate the business to Maplewood, will stave off the eviction hearing and buy Barron the time she needs to vacate the Rock Hill address.

'As long as there is a formal agreement on where she is going then we at least have a time frame,' he said, emphasizing 'We’re not in the business of kicking people out of places.'

Barron, as of Friday, was not as optimistic.

'People keep promising that the eviction proceedings will be dropped,' she said. 'But we have nothing in writing. And we still have a court date.'"

There is also this bit about Barron that is itself a bit more conciliatory:
She has since offered to meet the terms of her lease for the remainder of her tenure in a home that is listed on the Rock Hill historic registry."
The reason for this is stated in the opening of Giegerich's article:
"The saga of the Book House, a far-flung tale of a small business facing extinction, appears headed for a happy ending. Barring a last minute glitch, the literary institution is poised to move a heritage of 33 years, 200,000 books and a black cat named Blake (for the English poet, William) to a location in downtown Maplewood.

Proprietor Michelle Barron announced last week that she has reached a preliminary agreement to relocate to an abandoned Newberry’s discount store on Manchester Road, three miles east of the 1863 Victorian the Book House has occupied for over three decades."

I'll admit that I hadn't been aware exactly where the referred-to "abandoned Newberry's discount store" is on Manchester Road, whether it's actually in the heart of Maplewood on Manchester, or due west of the center of town.  However, 'teh Google' revealed something from the "Genealogy in St. Louis" page here:
"At the corner of Manchester & Sutton was the BIG Katz Drug store. East of that, across the street was a bank, across the street from the bank was a Woolworth store, and east of that was J. J. Newberry’s."
The corner of Manchester and Sutton is indeed at the western edge of what I would consider the heart of Maplewood, where last night, this municipal shindig took place.  (I did stop by said shindig, FWIW.)

Barron is eyeing a rough time line as follows:

"'We’ll get it bare bones up and running and do what we need to do at the start to meet code,' said Barron, eyeing a gradual roll out beginning in October."
Well, we shall see.  Fingers crossed certainly for Barron on this.

With that, time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week.....

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