Williamsburg book store wants Yorktown location

Daily Press

Riverwalk Landing may get a book store.

The Book Exchange of Williamsburg asked the York County Economic Development Authority for approval to lease the space vacated by Claire Murray Lifestyles in May.

Kelsie Davis, owner of the Williamsburg business for 23 years, said they would have a purely retail operation in Yorktown, unlike the exchange, which offers customers credit for books they turn in for use on a future purchase.

The larger store near the Riverwalk Landing parking deck would allow for events such as book clubs or game nights, she said.

"I don't see how this could fail," Davis said.

The authority, which heard Davis' pitch at a meeting Tuesday night and oversees the operations at the Yorktown retail strip, did not make a decision then.

Economic Development Director Jim Noel said he had another interested tenant lined up to make a presentation to the board in a few weeks.

Noel asked the authority member if they should hire a commercial real estate firm to advertise and search for tenants when there was a vacancy at the landing.

Chairman R. Anderson Moberg said he didn't think it was necessary, especially since the Claire Murray location is its only vacancy. The rest of the board agreed.

"The project in general is starting to see some equilibrium," he said.

The authority agreed Tuesday to waive a 3 percent increase in rent for three other occupants at Riverwalk Landing that agreed to renew their leases through the end of 2015. The stores included Patriot Tours and Provisions, RiverFruit Wine Co. and Auntie M's American Cottage.

Claire Murray Lifestyles closed in May owing the county nearly $13,000 in rent, late fees and damages. The authority authorized the sale of the merchandise remaining in the store to Auntie M's for $2,750, which will go to pay down some of the owed debt.

The authority also agreed to up its contribution from $2,000 to $3,000 to install wireless Internet at the Riverwalk Landing marina, giving merchants there access to the Internet in order to accept credit card transactions.

Rockett can be reached by phone at 757-247-4942.

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