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Bookstore plan changes approved in Grosse Pointe Farms

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 29, 2020

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — A new bookstore coming to the Hill business district in Grosse Pointe Farms is getting a few tweaks to its architectural plans.

The Farms City Council on Feb. 11, 2019, unanimously approved a site plan and parking variance for the business, which will be located in a new two-story building at 92 Kercheval Ave.

The old building, which was a single story, was formerly home to Alan Marschke’s Oriental Rug Gallery and later used as an office, City Manager Shane Reeside said. The name of the new business at press time was Lindsay Cotton’s Book Store, named after its owner.

At a Dec. 9 Farms City Council meeting, architect William Baldner, of Clifford N. Wright Architects, who represented Cotton at the meeting, said the changes include moving the front door from the right side of the building to the left side, changing the window shapes at the top from rectangular to rounded, and reducing the number of dormers from three to two.

“Based on staff review of the proposed (changes), we find that the proposed alterations to the façade are of equal or higher quality in comparison to the approved plans in regards to design and materials,” Public Services Director Matthew Baka told city officials in a memo.

Baka recommended council approval, and the council agreed, voting unanimously in favor of the changes.

City Councilman Lev Wood asked the architect to create “barrier-free access for the new entrance, to the extent possible.”

Baldner said the new building will be Americans with Disabilities Act-compatible.

Wood praised the changes, saying they make for a “simpler, more elegant design” and that “the building and design are in keeping with the character” of the area.

Reeside said the owner is considering a coffee bar with a roof deck and hosting events such as children’s birthday parties and book signings.

“It’s another great investment into the business district,” Reeside said. “It’s going to add an element that will be appreciated by the community.”

The council last year approved a parking variance because of a deficiency of six parking spaces. Reeside said they approved the variance “because there’s sufficient public parking within 300 feet” of the business. In addition, the retail-oriented store is expected to be busier on weekends and evenings, after many of the office uses on the Hill are closed.

Reeside said Cotton is required to pay $45,000 into the city’s parking and infrastructure bank because of the deficiency.

Baldner said they hope to start construction “as soon as the weather will permit.”