By Chuck Tanowitz
Hammers, dust and broken pieces of wood are flying inside the building that served for a half-century as the home of The New England Mobile Book Fair. The bookstore itself moved last year to a storefront further down Needham Street, but the long warehouse-like space it once occupied has sat vacant.
Now Charlotte Maynard, owner of Creative Bookfair LLX. is working to bring the property, located in the N2 Innovation District, back to life as a mix of commercial and retail. Plans call for a complete refitting of the 33,000 square foot building, with larger windows along the parking lot, upgraded systems including HVAC, gas, plumbing, and electric, as well as a resurfacing of the parking lot.
Sale of the building officially closed in mid-October through 128CRE for $5.6 million.
The building maintains some of the remnants of its famous former tenant. A stack of wooden bookshelves fills a large area of floor space, and the shadow of the former Book Fair sign remains visible from Needham Street. But all that will be disappearing soon.
As for the tenants, Maynard notes that nothing is signed yet, but she is talking to several, including tech companies, fitness groups and some in early childhood education. She is also hoping to attract a restaurant to a 3000 square foot retail space facing Needham Street.
Maynard notes that she hopes to have tenants moving in starting in Spring 2019.