Greene County purchased the former home of The Book Rack, a central Springfield business that closed after a vehicle crashed into it last year.
The county bought the building and 0.2-acre lot at 311 W. Central St. for $120,000. It’s slated to be razed next week, according to a news release. The seller was HRP Management LLC, said county spokeswoman Donna Barton.
With the addition of real estate closing costs, utility work, and environmental testing and demolition by Environmental Works Inc., the cost comes to $165,000, according to the release. It’s funded through the county’s general revenue fund. Demolition is scheduled during the week of Feb. 25.
The county intends to use the property for parking and campus expansion purposes. The bookstore property is nearby the county’s campus, generally located at Boonville Avenue and Central Street.
“Property in this area does not become available often, so we wanted to act on this opportunity to make a sound investment in the future of our campus,” Greene County Resource Management Director Kevin Barnes said in the release. “Anyone who works or conducts business with the county knows that parking is always limited, so we are pleased that this purchase will be a help with this issue.”
The Book Rack was known for its large quantity of books that formed a pathway around the store. In April 2018, the store was irreparably damaged from a fatal car crash that left a sizable hole in the building, according to a KY3 report. Photos provided by Greene County show the aging building has been boarded up and left vacant.
The KY3 report from last year indicated The Book Rack had been operating out of the Central Street building since 2004, after first opening in 1974. It originally operated on Olive Street, according to an unofficial Facebook page for the company. The Central Street property also previously housed a sheet metal business, dry cleaners, gas stations and an auto glass company, according to county officials.
The local Book Rack store was part of a franchise that continues to operate. Led by franchisor Mike Buglio in Arlington, Massachusetts, the company now has some 60 locations, down from its peak of more than 100, according to TheBookRack.com and an employee at the original store in Arlington.
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