Final Thesis Book


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During my Fall 2008 senior seminar, we were to research a type of business to design a 3,000-10,000 square foot building for. During the semester we were required to include a thesis statement, personal design style, precedence studies, research, programing, code studies, images of our chosen building, and floor plans.

The building I chose is the The Power Plant at Lucky Strike. It is one of the oldest building in Richmond's historic Tobacco Row. Tobacco Row is an area of downtown Richmond, VA where tobacco warehouses and cigarette factories thrived in the early 1800s. The area was abandoned by the tobacco companies by the late 1980s. In 1995 the Richmond Flood Wall was completed, and many of the old warehouses of Tobacco Row were modernized. The Power Plant at Lucky Strike is at the end of Tobacco Row and supplied power to all of the other buildings along the River. Historic renovations of the Lucky Strike has been ongoing for years by various firm’s in Richmond. The space is currently under construction by Odell Architects. The Lucky Strike is a large building at 18,000 square feet with two tenant spaces, and 45 parking spaces. I chose this building because of its location to Shockoe Bottom, the James River, and re-developing neighborhoods of Church Hill. It has inherent beauty with two story glass windows and several skylights, which will make a perfect space for my project.

For my Senior Thesis proposal I chose to create a used bookstore. I started the project by doing extensive research on the used bookstore market. The information lead me to conclude that the South Atlantic area is the best place right now for a used bookstore, however smaller stores are not succeeding. This lead me to my second conclusion, which is that large bookstores with strong internet sales are doing the best in the market. I decided then to ''partner'' with an existing successful used bookstore chain in Portland, OR known as Powell's Books. I proposed that the company wanted to expand to the east coast and thus save on shipping expenses for the east coast sales. Powell's Books also wants to establish a design style in their new store that is different than the Portland stores, which is where my job would start.

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Final Thesis Book

  1. 1. Table of Contents Chapter 1................................................... Page 2 Thesis Statement Chapter 2................................................... Page 3 Personal Style Chapter 3................................................... Page 5 Precedents Chapter 4................................................... Page 14 Market Analysis Chapter 5................................................... Page 24 Location Study Chapter 6................................................... Page 34 Powell’s City of Books Chapter 7................................................... Page 37 Business Profile Chapter 8................................................... Page 40 Programing Chapter 9................................................... Page 46 Site Study Chapter 10................................................. Page 52 Building Code Analysis
  2. 2. Senior Seminar Audra Powell 2008 Bound Mixed Media Work 8 x 10 inches
  3. 3. 1 Thesis Statement There are few new businesses that can get me as excitedno other. Itsbookstore opening. The treasurein larger storesget when I’m browsing through the isles of endless books is like as a used something that doesn’t happen hunt feeling I such as Barnes and Noble. The chain stores that sell overpriced new books have a rushed feeling and are overcrowded. A good used bookstore on the other hand is inviting and like walking into a mystery; you never know what you might find. I have lived in Richmond for three years now and I can say that the city is limited with the amount of good bookstores. Most specialize in selling one category. All of the used bookstore buildings tend to be old and run down with a musty smell that bothers my allergies. My goal for my senior thesis project is to design a store that not only has a wide selection of books, but is also well designed. The design will be influential to the business staying on top. Also, I would love for the store to be used for community activities such as book readings, school outings, or a community meeting center. My used bookstore will not merely be a store, but also enrich the community. Page 2
  4. 4. 2 Personal Style My personal style can be described as eclectic. I like lots of different styles of architecture, but my style is a combination of femininity and bold graphics. I enjoy clothing with patterns that are bold, and a bit romantic. This relates to my style as a designer, because I love damask wallpaper and Art Nouveau era. This can also be seen in my peacock screen because peacock feathers are naturally attracts female attention. The chairs I designed myself were also inspired by an old chair from this era. My sensitivity to design inspired from another time lends me to being able to create a bookstore is rich and eclectic. However, I have another side of my style, which is a love for graphic design. I enjoy graphic art and get inspired by it. This is evident in my wall mural of the Juggernaut from X-Men. The carefree, and unrestrained nature of both an Art Nouveau and graphic design styles describe my taste and personal style. Page 3
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  6. 6. 3 Boutique De Libro 1762 Palermo Soho St., Precedents Buenos Aires, Argentina BCafe). The store isishidden away on Palermo Soho St. and is small, quiet,uniquehas an unobtrusive design, much like and outique Del Libro a popular chain bookstore, but this particular one is and (Boutique del Libro - Bookstore a typical used bookstore in America. They sell fiction, nonfiction, classics, academics, art, and a wide range of music (Boutique del Libro - Bookstore and Cafe). This offers areas for individual study, and also for group study. The group study areas have tables, chairs, and a large white board. The Boutique was not merely thrown together like any other used bookstore. It has a deliberate design scheme. All of the furniture pieces are antiques, a mix and match of found items which could be considered a “sustainable” quality. The art on the walls is modern, which is a direct juxtaposition to the furniture it sits above. In the cafe, there are metal tables surrounded by a hodge podge of various chairs. Each table is adorned with a cactus in a small planter (Boutique del Libro - Bookstore and Cafe). The cafe is the only area of the store with high ceilings and brighter lighting. The cafe sells coffee, tea, steaks, chicken, hamburgers, salads, and sandwiches (Boutique del Libro - Bookstore and Cafe). The cafe is light and airy in comparison to the sales floor which has an enclosed and inviting feeling. Books are everywhere. The shelves almost touch the ceiling and there are many tables, every inch covered in books. Books are even stacked neatly on the floor. The lighting is dim, giving the feeling of a private study versus a popular bookstore. The reason I was drawn to this bookstore design is because it is an organized mess. The books are what stands out because they are everywhere. They take a back seat to no other design element, and I like that idea. Page 5
  7. 7. Page 6 Page 6
  8. 8. Livraria Da Vila Sao Paulo, Brazil Architect: Isay Weinfeld Livrariaarchitect, is a successful He hasbookstore ineverything from houses, to restaurants,washotels, and luxurious retail Brazilian De Vila Isay Weinfeld. chain designed Sao Paulo, Brazil. This particular one to created by famous shops across Brazil. Livraria De Vila boasts a packed calendar of event from books signnings, writing classes, wine tastings, and musical performances (Barreneche 51). Weinfeld, however, wanted everyone to know, just by looking at the facade, that the store’s goal is literacy. The entrance is composed of 5 large bookcases which pivot open during the day, and close up at night. The interior design is no less grand. Along every wall, all one can see are books. Weinfeld knew from the begging that this store would be a challenge to design. The existing 2 story building has a footprint of 33 ft. wide and 131 ft. long (Barreneche 51). This created some design challenges for placement of furniture. He chose to open up the plan and let it flow from floor to floor (Barreneche 51). In the basement, children’s books are located. Both the lighting and the color scheme are playful and bright, unlike the other floors which have a warmer color palette. Bean bags replace any other furniture and add a florescent pop of color. A small auditorium is located in the back for classes, performances, and lectures. The ground floor houses many CDs and DVDs, as well as more books. Weinfeld chose to create “visual continuity” with an oval cut out into the basement, which is lined with books (Barreneche 52). A small cafe and more books can be reached on the second floor by imbuia wood stairs, lit only by a long skylight (Barreneche 52). Comfy looking furniture invites customers to stay a while. Like Boutique Del Libro, the thing I most enjoy about this design is that books are highlighted as the most important decoration. Page 7
  9. 9. Basement Ground Floor Second Floor (“Global Outlook- Sao Paolo.” Page 51-52). Page 8
  10. 10. El Ateno at The Grand Splendid Buenos Aires, Argentina Architect: Pero and Torres Armengol (1919) Architect: Fernando Manzone (2000) Eone located at The Grand Splendid,and Noble, except they are alland Noble,inEldesign. The mostfor selling new books the l Ateno is South America’s Barnes an old theater. Like Barnes different Ateno is known notable El Ateno is and CDs. The first floor is made up of popular music and children’s books, while the second floor holds classical and jazz music. Most of the books are in Spanish, but there is a selection of other languages (Gentile). While this store doesn’t sell used books, it caught my interest because it is making adaptive use of a prominent structure in the city, which is comparable to my own thesis proposal. The building which houses El Ateno is indeed special to the people of Buenos Aires (Gentile). The architects, Pero and Torres Armengol designed The Grand Splendid for wealthy immigrant, Max Gluxsman. It was used as a theater for a number of years. Many talented tango performers even visited the stage. This fueled an interest in music for Max and in 1924, he opened a radio station on the fourth floor. Later in 1929, the theater became Argentina’s first cinema with sound. In 2000, its latest phase, El Ateno moved in (El Ateneo). Architect Fernando Manzone wanted to keep the historical integrity of the building, but many changes had to be made. He began by removing the theater seats. Several of them have been reused as reading chairs for customers. Bookshelves were installed along walls and where the seats had once been. Stairs to the basement were also replaced by an escalator (El Ateneo). The bookstore offers only a few places for lounging, either in the cafe, on the stage, or in the balconies (Gentile). Although many changes have been made, it is impossible to erase the feeling that this store was once a grand theater, which is why I like it so much. Page 9
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  12. 12. The Bookshop on the Avenue Lynchburg, Virginia The Bookshop for 10 years, this is usedonly lasting privatelyinowned used bookstore inLynchburg, VA. Owned bywhy and Walt Roberts on the Avenue is a the bookstore located the heart of downtown Lynchburg. The reason Maggie they have outlasted other stores is simple; selection (Roberts, 2008). This store has all the usual categories, but the amount of books is impressive. The store also markets themselves to the family costumers. Maggie and Walt do not sell “pornography books, nor any kind of witchcraft” (Roberts, 2008). Instead they made room for a large selection of religious books. This has to do with their personal ethics, but is also a wise decision since Liberty University, the world’s largest Evangelical Christain school, is located nearby. Students from all the colleges in Lynchburg frequent the store to sell or buy textbooks for cheap. This has proven to be profitable for Maggie and Walt (Roberts, 2008). For having so many books, the store surprisingly has organization to it. The main floor has a “Summer Reading List” section, located near the entrance, for the newer best sellers. Next to that is a room for “Books to Movies” selection with a sign posted above the door that says, “ Don’t judge a book by its movie.” Other areas on the main floor include textbooks, the classics, romance, and the do it yourself/ beauty section. All books in each category is organized in alphabetical order by title. In the basement is where all the fiction resides. This area is organized with general fiction and children’s books near the stairs and branching out into mystery, horror, and a separate room for an immense collection of fantasy and sci- fi. On the third floor is where all of the nonfiction is located. This floor happens to be the only one with poor organization. There are four rooms which have a hodge podge of nonfiction categories. In room one there is the business and science Page 11
  13. 13. section mixed in with art and rendering books. In the second room the wedding section is next to the biographies, and then architecture is next to automotive repair. In the third room arts and computers mix. Finally, room four holds the history and health and nutrition section. While the store my have plenty of books to chose from, which undoubtably keeps their doors open, the building is in need of repair. On one hand, I enjoy the tight intimate spaces that make the store feel even more like there might be a mystery around the corner. But on the other, the building is old and dusty. My allergies go crazy when I’m in there, which makes me feel uncomfortable. There is also no room allotted for seating except two children’s chairs in the kids section and on the rare ocassion it is crowded, you are shoulder to shoulder with strangers in cramped isles. This is an all to common situation in most used bookstores. The lack of seating means that customer are likely to leave sooner. I plan to take the good points and the bad points from this used bookstore and apply it to my own design. This bookstore is an example of the typical scenario a visitor can expect when they hear “used bookstore” but I plan to change that. Page 12
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  15. 15. 4 Changes In the Used Bookstore Market Market Analysis • The market for used bookstores is diverse. Ranging from only sales online, non permanent stores, dealers, or open shops. With this in mind, this market analysis is intended to be an overview, as it is difficult to pin point individual sales. • Most owners are sole prioritiers who do not publicly report sales (Siegel, 2003). • Since the late 1990’s, there has been a steady increase in the growth of used book sales. However, in 2000 the number of open shops began steadily decreasing by 4.8% (Siegel, 2003). • This growth in the late 90’s and then sudden decrease has varied across the U.S (Siegel, 2003). • While the Pacific Coast (1,479 stores) and Mid West (1,339 stores) have the largest amount of open bookstores, they are facing the most decrease in used book sales (-3%) (Siegel, 2003). • The East Coast (South Atlantic) is currently growing the fastest and doing better business than shops to the West with an increase of 58% in book sales (Siegel, 2003). • While the Mid Atlantic area has the second best growth rate of 38% for book sales (Siegel, 2003). Page 14
  16. 16. PACIFIC COAST WA # of Dealers 1,479 NEW ENGLAND % of Open Shops 67% MT ND ME # of Dealers 892 % of By Appointment 15% NC % of Open Shops 46% OR VT % of Antique Malls 2% % of By Appointment 27% % of Internet 16% ID MID WESTWI NH % of Antique Malls 5% # of Dealers SD 1,339 NY MA WY % of Internet 21% % of Open Shops 54% MI CT CENTRAL/WESTERN % of By Appointment 17% RI # of Dealers 1,336 IA PA NJ % of Antique Malls NE 10% NVof Open Shops % 68% OH MID ATLANTIC % of Internet 20% % of By Appointment 11% UT IL IN MD DEof # Dealers 1,182 % of Antique Malls 5% CO WV % of Open Shops 44% % of Internet 16% KS MO VA % of By Appointment 26% CA KY % of Antique Malls 4% SOUTH ATLANTIC NC % of Internet 26% # of Dealers TN 970 AZ OK % of Open Shops 59% NM AR SC % of By Appointment 15% MS Antique Malls % of 8% GA % of Internet AL 18% Used Bookstore Make- Up By Region: TX The most promising area of growth right now is on the east LA coast. The Pacific and Mid West region currently have the FL most open used bookstores in the US, but the least amount of book sales. Siegel, 2003
  17. 17. • There are currently 7,095 used book sellers in the U.S. (Siegel, 2003 ). • 4,308 have “open shops” (Siegel, 2003 ) which are in a building open to the public that operate at regular business hours. • 1,282 sellers in the U.S. do business by appointment only (Siegel, 2003). • 1,519 sellers rent kiosks or sales floors in a mall or antique shop (non permanent stores) (Siegel, 2003). • Only 5%-10% of all sellers carry antiquarian books, or books printed before the 1900s. These can be priced at more than $500 a book (Siegel, 2003). • 65% of used book sellers are online (Siegel, 2003). Pie Chart of the Overall Used Bookstore Make- Up in the US The Siegel, 2003 Page 15
  18. 18. Reasons for Growth Changes • Many open shops can go out of business due to death or retirement of an owner, decreased traffic flow, personal issues, or an overall decline in sales (Siegel, 2003). • Tax laws have discouraged publishers from keeping “slow moving” books on the shelves in new bookstores (Siegel, 2003). This creates increase in books which used stores sell. • New books are more expensive. If a customer can find a certain title sometimes up 50% cheaper in a used bookstore, they are more likely to chose the cheapest copy (Siegel, 2003). • Many people are now becoming avid book collectors and developing “nostalgia” for certain older childrens’ books (Siegel, 2003). • If a dealer sells online they are in better shape because the internet allows people from across the country to shop their selection. The Siegel, 2003 South Atlantic Mid Atlantic Mid West New England % Change % Change % Change % Change Central/ West +17% +16% +26% +12% % Change Pacific Coast % Increase of Dealers % Increase of Dealers % Increase of Dealers % Change % Increase of Dealers -3% -2% % Increase of Dealers 53% 15% % Increase of Dealers 29% 27% 5% 9% *** This chart shows the percentages of growth/ decline in regions across the US. The “% Change” shows the increase in open stores, while “% Increase of Dealers” shows the rate of increase or decline for new booksellers in general for that region.
  19. 19. Impact of the Internet • Bookstores that sell only new books are suffering due to increased internet purchases. However, used book sellers are benefiting because they are able to expand to a wider audience (Siegel, 2003). • Open bookstores do well because they will have internet sales along with in store traffic sales (Siegel, 2003). • Most out of print books can only be found in used bookstores (Siegel, 2003). • Sometimes a “two-tired” cost system is applied for open shops who sell online. The online book may be more expensive in order to cover the cost of shipping, packaging, or transportation (Siegel, 2003). • Having an online store thus allows locals to browse a stores selection for books in the comfort of their own home, then make a trip to pick up a particular book at the store, and pay a little less. • Sellers on the internet display 5%-20% of there total stock for online purchases (Siegel, 2003). • Sales on the internet account for around 10%-15% of the store total profit (Siegel, 2003). Conclusions The future of the used bookstore looks promising. Because of the increased cost for new books, more people are likely to check out used stocks first; via the internet, or in local used bookstores. Many new opportunities are arising along the East Coast for those interested in opening shops there. The used bookstore market is showing an increase in business for those dealers who operate online. The internet has indeed increased awareness of economic benefits used booksellers can have for customers. For those store owners who are not open to operating online, because of lack of time or manpower, may find less foot traffic in their bookstores in the next few years. Page 17
  20. 20. Profile of the Owner • Owners vary in age from early 30s to late 60s. These are people who have a love and passion for books (Siegel, 2003). • The majority of used bookstore carry between 20,000- 50,000 books (Siegel, 2003). • Only 10% of sellers in the U.S. have above 100,000 books for sale (Siegel, 2003). • Only 5%-10% of sellers have antiquarian or rare/ expensive books (Siegel, 2003). • Most books are sold in the $5 to $50 range (Siegel, 2003). • Start up risks are high when opening a used bookstore. One can expect it to take at least three years to become established and comfortable (How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store). • Once established, the owner may experience an income of $50,000 + a year (How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store). • An owner will need to asses the location and population for a used bookstore. • 50,000 people is a good size population for supporting a used bookstore, and trying to be located near a college or school zone is a prime location (How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store). • Foot traffic is highly important, especially if there is no parking lot or bus route nearby (How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store). • Shopping malls, or close to large new bookstore like Barnes and Noble is also a great location (How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store). • Research has shown that opening a used bookstore close to a grocery store is usually a poor choice (How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store). • Typically darker colored walls (warm tones) and subdued lighting produce an inviting atmosphere where the customer will be likely to stay longer (How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store). Page 18
  21. 21. Typical Start Up Costs Rent: $2,000 Inventory: $5,000+ Remolding: %5,000+ Insurance: $200 Misc.(cash register, counters, Utility/ Phone: $300 Legal and Accounting: Advertising/ Signs: $3,500+ License and Permits: supplies): $1,500 $1,200 $250 $ 18,950 Operating Capital: $12,000 “How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store.” Iverson Software Co. 21 Dec. 2008 <
  22. 22. Business Books: Leadership, Career, Management Diversify the Selection of Books How To Books: Self Help, Beauty, Fashion, Finance, Home Improvement Cook Books: Culinary Arts (Dieting, Exercise, and Etiquette titles usually do not sell in used bookstores) Special Interest: Local History, Local Architecture, Sports, ect. Paperbacks: #1 Selling books in used bookstores. Can be non-fiction, or fiction (Romance, Mysteries, Horror, Sci-fi are all good sellers) “How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store.” Iverson Software Co. 21 Dec. 2008 < Page 20
  23. 23. Promotional Ideas • Shelves should be no taller than 6 feet. • Word of mouth is always best, but • Revolving racks are helpful for sometimes running ads in the Yellow displaying paperbacks, magazine, Pages or shopping papers can be helpful. postcards, ect. • College newspapers and flyers are good • Newspaper and Broadcasting are not promotional places for store specials. really worth the money. • Author signings and reading can bring in • Many stores send out newsletter to extra traffic and sales. customers listing upcoming events and • Posting recommendations and reviews on new titles a store’s website is helpful to customers coming to browse. - How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store.
  24. 24. Opinions from Used Bookstore Shoppers ***“It would be awesome if there were a used bookstore in my town. Any bookstore actually would be ok, but I would prefer used to new. I simply can’t afford new-book prices. If it’s a choice of buying one new book or multiple used books, guess which I’m going to pick? If there were a used bookstore that I could frequent, it would be nice if they would have some kind of “trade-in” or “credit” program; where you could take in books you don’t want, and get ***“I love the “book” smell of a used bookstore. I like partial credit toward a purchase. And I like places where the books are grouped together by category/type, not just the “atmosphere” of a used bookstore. To me, a used alphabetically by author or title. If I want fantasy books or Sci-fi, I don’t want to have to look through hundreds of bookstore should “shout” that it’s a used bookstore. books, and I don’t always know an author’s name. I can’t actually think of much that would keep me from shopping Therefore, it should not have bright lighting or have in a used bookstore, except for being too far away, or maybe if they were only open during hours when I couldn’t get there. Otherwise, they’d probably have to kick me out at closing time several days a week!” a retail store feel to it. It should have a dimmer “Nothing would keep me from shopping used books. I find rare and antiquities too special to ever think of reselling lighting than a retail outlet. It should have good (but in used book stores. Because obviously I have a love of books (having several antiqued and autographed copies not too cheap) shelves. It should hold the promise of of rare finds), I love to read a particular era that is lost into too many genre. Hopes this gives you a broader unfounded treasure that if you just keep looking you prospectus.”- Lostunic will find. It should be well organized.”- Spritual but not Religous ***“I shop in used bookstores a lot. Unless I’m ***“I do like mysteries separate from other fiction, looking for a particular book, I don’t want them TOO as I am a mystery nut but read little else in well organized, as I usually end up with a book on fiction.”- Sabine M ***“Why used? For starters, new books are too some odd topic that I’d never before considered expensive. The prices have gone up way faster than reading about.”- Zena Rae my income. I also enjoy a lot of out-of-print things. Sometimes I even enjoy reading the notations previous owners made in the margins. New ***“I DON’T want somebody hanging over me and wanting to “help” ***“I want the prices to be affordable. Honestly, recently bookstores only have the latest and hottest, and me while I’m browsing. The fun of a used book store is reading I’ve gone to a lot of library surplus sales, as stuff is those books don’t interest me that much.”-Roximunro random bits from a number of books before buying. If I feel rushed or think the store owner is hovering because s/he’s afraid I’ll steal really cheap there. I know that doesn’t help you make a book (I’ve NEVER done that), I’m outta there and I won’t be a living, but it is part of the competition that you need to back.”- Dustystar be aware of.”- Don *** Stared items indicated that the question and answer have been deleted by
  25. 25. “Book stores, new or used, have always been a somewhat risky business. Money and people are fickle. Used book stores will always do better in economically depressed areas or time periods. Not all used book stores have the same buying methods, business or merchandising model. Some buy bulk books, so they aren’t necessarily choosing the titles. Some buy individual titles. Some stores have a preference for certain types of books - used paperbacks in general or certain genres (like romance, sci-fi, horror) or greatly discounted hardbacks (publisher overstock, where generally the book didn’t sell well to start with). Some sell old issues of magazines and newspapers, too. Some stores buy from the public, others don’t. Some deal in first editions, some wouldn’t know a first edition if it came gift wrapped. Many of the used book stores that are not doing well are owned by individuals, often people who lack a thorough knowledge of the business. . More successful used book stores tend to be chain stores, which allows not only for a better business model but to also relocate stock to other areas of the country. Stores that carry only new books can have limited space and selection of titles, as well as being “trendy”. This is fine in good economic times or in big cities where you can get a choice by just going to another store. Books that do not sell well within a certain time frame can be returned (usually) to the publisher for credit and new titles brought in. Chain stores do better than individually owned stores (better model, and better purchasing power). The internet has affected both types of stores. Customers no longer have to go to a location to browse for titles. A new book store can rely on publisher’s information to list their books, thus providing the customer with greater details.. A used book store often can not. Some only list the minimum necessary - title and author, maybe the general condition of the book. Listing each individual book can be time consuming and expensive, especially if you are going to include any graphics or summaries. Chain stores can ban together as a single site, making the available stock of each store available as if it were one store. Individually owned stores often do not do this (there are exceptions). Amazon has made it possible for used book stores to offer products for sale through Amazon, although they collect a small fee from the seller for this service. Amazon benefits also by keeping the customer on their site. Books-a-Million sells not just magazine subscriptions like other online book stores, but also the individual issues when available. This was a bonus to their customers who might want only a specific issue, not a subscription, of a magazine not available to them locally. If you are considering opening a used store, do a considerable amount of market research first. Who are your competitors (B&N, Borders, Walmart, a library)? What are the demographics of your proposed store (size of the town, location of store, etc). Who are your potential customers (kids and parents, teens, adults, all of the above)? How knowledgeable are you about the book industry itself? Are there trade/industry association you can join or have access to? How much experience do you have in running a retail business? How much will it cost to set up initially? How much will you need financially to operate for at least a year (many new business do not turn a profit for at least a year, and by far, most close in less than five years). What sources are available for buying your stock? What business model will you use? Do you know how to best market your stock? What discount can you afford to sell your books at and still earn a profit to cover overhead? Will you also have online access available? Can you afford or even want to pay for a franchisee (such as a half price books or book swap)? You will to have a least a reasonable idea of these things. There are organizations like the SBA and SCORE to assist you in opening a business, but only if they believe you will be successful at it (especially in light of the current banking difficulties). It is possible to open a store without backing and experience, if your stock and location are well suited to meet an existing need of the customer base in the area in a given time period. Some owners have been lucky in that respect. You can search for trade and insutry groups online (off hand I don’t know of any, but they should exist), to get an ide about the health of the used book industry. Also check on the general business forecast in your area. Where I am, the city is actively looking for new businesses to locate here, yet many existing ones are closing or leaving town. Many empty stores have been for rent for over a year. We have a slightly higher than average unemployment rate, and the majority of jobs available are minimum wage. Opening a small shop of any kind here is probably not the best idea right now.”- Bolt - Yahoo Answers Community (
  26. 26. 5 Location Study By studying the locationconcluded that the downtownthe area,isIcentralnarrowed downCity Public Schools. ThisFrom the information I found, I have of schools and foot traffic in region have to Richmond my targeted audience. area has the poorest scores in reading and writing. My store could become a place for them to hang out outside of school, and possibly fall in love with books. Shockoe Bottom is a close drive/ walk from VCU’s Monroe Park Campus, and very close to the MCV campus. This means that college students will likely be coming to the store between classes. They will need coffee, computer access and areas to study. Shockoe Bottom is also a pivotal area for tourism and shops. People like to browse the stores in the area especially on the weekends. Surprisingly, however, there are few used bookstores here. The top book stores are scattered throughout the fan, and you would have to Mapquest most of these stores, to even know where they are. Having a used bookstore in this area seems like the most likely place for success. Page 24
  27. 27. Richmond, VA and Surrounding Areas Hanover County Gouchland County Powhatan County Richmond New Kent County Chesterfield County Charles City County Page 25
  28. 28. Richmond City Districts West End Northside Southside East End Page 26 htpp://,_VA
  29. 29. Richmond’s Most Likely Areas 8 Shockoe Slip Church Hill 2 7 Fan 1 Hill 6 Shockoe rch Bottom 9 Chu 5 Shockoe Bottom 4 3 The Fan Page 27 # 1-9 Represent in order the most likely places for having a successful used bookstore.
  30. 30. 3 7 64 There are very few used bookstores in Shockoe Bottom. This is surprising because this area has lots of foot traffic, it is near neighborhoods, the James River trails, historical museums, and 10 MCV/ VCU campuses. 5 Hermit Pa W age Rd t .B te rs ro U on ad of Av St R e. . 195 6 St. rdy ma Lo W 1 95 ard .B ro lav ad 95 M ou St ai Ja NB . n m St 64 es . R 9 iv C er ar y St . VC 8 U . xp nE tow M VC 4 wn 195 Do Shockoe Bottom Church Hill 2
  31. 31. Top Ten Used Bookstores in Richmond, VA 1. Chop Suey Books #1 rated used bookstore in Richmond. They have expanded their selection with the recent move to a larger building in carytown. They use to only sell non- fiction books (with a large selection of art 2913 W. Cary Street Richmond, Va 23220 books), but now they also sell fiction books. 2. Book Exchange They have a huge selection and sell used and new books. They are open from 10 am to 9 pm. 13198 Midlothian Tpke Midlothian, VA 3. Book Room New and used books and also audio tapes.All books and tapes are regularly on sale. They 5458 W. Broad St. Richmond, VA 23230 specialize in fiction (especially sci-fi, mystery, and romances) (Richmond Virginia (VA) Used & Independent Book Stores). 4. Fountain Bookstore Used books and comics. Open 10am to 9pm (Richmond Virginia (VA) Used & Independent Book 1312 E. Cary Street Richmond, VA Stores). 5. Book People A very old Richmond bookstore (Richmond Virginia (VA) Used & Independent Book Stores) 536 Granite Ave. Richmond, VA 2326 6. Stories Bookstore Some used books, but specailizes in comic books (Richmond Virginia (VA) Used & Independent 231-4213 Forest Ave. Richmond, VA 23225 Book Stores). 7. Ex Libris Books A popular used bookstore in Richmond that is well organized and sells many classics (Richmond 6921 Lakeside Ave. Richmond, VA 23228 Virginia (VA) Used & Independent Book Stores). 8. Richmond Book Shop Long lasting Richmond bookstore (Richmond Virginia (VA) Used & Independent Book Stores). 808 W. Broad St. Richmond, VA 23220 9. Black Swan Books Antiquarian, rare, and out of print books (Richmond Virginia (VA) Used & Independent Book 2601 W. Main St. Richmond, VA 23220 Stores). 10. Carytown Books Located far from Carytown (Richmond Virginia (VA) Used & Independent Book Stores). 4021 Mc Arthur Ave. Richmond, VA 23227 Page 29
  32. 32. Church Hill Areas for Re-development The neighborhoods of Chruch Hill, next to Shockoe Bottom, are undergoing re- developments. More high end apartments and shops are being constructed (Brockwell, 2006). This means more foot traffic in Shockoe Bottom, while still having some neighborhoods nearby with children who are in need of a community outlet for after school hours.
  33. 33. Downtown Bus Routes Having a building located near a downtown bus N d route means that many people of all different var backgrounds can have the opportunity to explore ule the used bookstore. There are also bike trails 64 Bo along the James River that extend all the way to Mo the end of Shockoe Bottom. The trails and bus nu 95 routes could be considered a ecofriendly aspect me 64 of the area as less people are required to drive to nt West End reach the store. Do wn tow East End nE xp re James ss wa River y Downtown 7th th 8th 10 th 11 9th Gra th Bro ce 12 ad th 13 95 th 14 Fra nkli n Bus Route Ca ry Side Street Map Page 31
  34. 34. Richmond City Public School Districts Richmond Public Schools District SAT Mean Score Critical Reading: 483 Matematics: 471 Writing: 479 Page 32
  35. 35. RPS Academic Record of SAT 1: 2006-2007 General Communications Holdings, LLC. A) (Prestidge, 2008 Media 443 As Compared to Virginia’s Average SAT 1 Scores 427 Critical Reading: 511 (“RPS Academic Record of SAT I: 2006-2007.” Richmond Public Schools) 419 414 Mathematics: 512 406 402 401 Writing: 499 390 389 386 384 Total: 1522 360 382 (Richmond Public Schools; 2006-2007) 379 377 Richmond Public Schools covers the area known as Shockoe Bottom, the proposed location for a used bookstore. The public schools nearby have just below average SAT scores in critical Mean Total: Mean Total: Mean Total: Mean Total: Mean Total: 1289 1222 1175 1135 1138 reading, writing, and mathematics. The average for Virginia is a typical average as compared to the rest of the U.S. (Prestidge, 2008). However, Richmond Public Schools have some of the lowest scores within the state districts. According to Dindy Robinson, the Publisher of Swimming Kangaroo, “If you want to be a good writer, you need to read. This may seem self- evident, but you would be amazed at how many writers I talk to who do not ever read” (Robinson). Clearly if the students were provided with books that are affordable and interesting to them, than maybe they could become avid readers. In addition, the proposed location for my site is also located within the second Thomas Jefferson Huguenot John Marshall George Wythe Armstrong lowest ranking school for RPS, Armstrong High School. I believe that if there was a nearby after school outlet, such as my High School High School High School High School High School used bookstore, than the younger children may become more SAT Reading (Mean) interested in reading and writing, thus improving their SAT scores SAT Mathematics (Mean) in high school. SAT Writing (Mean) Page 33
  36. 36.
  37. 37. 6 Powell’s City of Books 1005 W. Burnside Rd. Portland, OR 97209 Powell’s City of Books is a successful mini chain in Oregon. They began by establishing themselves online with warehouses to hold large amounts of books. Eventually they opened a store in Portland. Now they have two stores and four warehouses across Oregon. Powell’s City of Books is the largest bookstore in the world (Powell’s Books). It covers more than a city block and is 68,000 sq. ft. packed with a million books. They feature nine individually colored rooms stocked with 122 different categories and 3,500 sub categories (Powell’s Books). Powell’s books buys 3,000 used books from customers a daily, while 80,000 people browse their popular website. While the website is popular across the world, the store also attracts plenty of customers. About 3,000 people make a purchase daily in store. While another 3,000 come to browse the selection, or have a cup of coffee (Powell’s Books). The World Cup Coffee and Tea is the cafe of the bookstore (Powell’s Books). Other amenities include 40 parking spaces, 8 ft. tall bookshelves lined against every wall and The Basil Hallwood Art Gallery, a permanent art gallery on the top floor. Each month Powell’s has a packed calender of events. A new art exhibit is revealed every month in the bookstore’s gallery. Popular events include book signings, and speeches by artists, philosophers, and even former presidents (Powell’s Books). This store is inspiring to me. It is already an established business, in store and online, that would surely thrive if they expanded to the South Atlantic region. Page 35
  38. 38. Powell’s City of Book’s Catagories of Books “ * Architecture * Art * Crafts * Humor * Philosophy * Spanish * Astronomy * Current Affairs * Islam * Photography * Sports and Fitness * “Book to Movie” * DVDs * Judaica * Poetry * Travel * Audio Books * Eastern Religion * Literature * Politics * Travel Writing * Biography * Book Sense Picks * Business * Engineering * Foreign Languages * Gardening * Mathematics * Metaphysics * Military * Psychology * Physics * Reference * Writing ” * Children’s * Gay and Lesbian * Music * Romance * Christianity * Graphic Novels * Mystery * Sci-Fi and Fantasy * Computers * Health and Medicine * New Arrivals * Self Help * Cooking and Food * History * Pacific Northwest * Small Press -1994-2008 Page 36
  39. 39. 7 Business Profile Through my research, I have decided to make Powell’s City of Books my client. This client is already a well established business model for online stores. In my research I found that used bookstores almost have to have online establishments to turn any kind of sustainable profit. Right now the Pacific Coast is not a good place to open a used bookstore, but the South Atlantic (Virginia included) is a great place to start one. If Powell’s City of Books was to expand to the East Coast they would not only increase profits, but also have another warehouse for their online sales, thus saving in transportation. Having warehouses on both coasts for internet sales can also be considered an ecofriendly aspect, as sold books wouldn’t have to travel as far. They are the world’s largest used book store, but they currently only have one location; Portland, Oregon. This store is well established and has a lot of business. For my project, however, I am pretending that this business wants to expand to a smaller stores on the East Coast. They want to keep their philosophy of providing outlets for community activities, having an in store art gallery, and housing rare, hard to find books. There size and in-store, as well as internet selection, is what has kept them in business for so long. Because they only have one location and are trying to branch out, this leaves room for freedom to design without established franchise standards. I plan to create a store that provides more than just books, but rather a community outlet for people of all ages. Page 37
  40. 40. Who is the client? Powell’s City of Books- largest used book store with used, new, rare and out of print books. It is an online bookstore that got its start in Portland, Oregon. Each month they have a new art exhibit on the top floor as well as events with writers, artists, former presidents, and great thinkers. They also have their own cafe; World Cup Coffee and Tea. What are their needs/ expectations? To become a book lovers paradise with huge selections and community events, which will make them the most successful bookstore in Richmond, Va. They also need space set aside for a warehouse that will serve internet purchases along the East Coast and Mid West. How many employees are needed? Around 30-50 people and at least 6+ on a shift, including a manager and one head cashier. Who is the customer? The customer is from the Greater Richmond area and mostly school age children or college students ages 6-24. They will mostly come from Richmond City Public Schools and VCU. It will be a store for everyone, but it will focus on arts, children’s literature, fiction (there is a lack of that in Richmond) and rare/ out of print books. What are their needs? They need summer reading books, which are usually fiction. They will need a large area devoted to textbooks as well Page 38
  41. 41. as the classics. They will need a place for after school activities. College students need lounges for laptops, places with computers, wifi, and lots of coffee in an area away from the children’s zone. Space Allocation? 75% books 5% World Cup Coffee and Tea 10% Community space 10% Reading Rooms Page 39
  42. 42. 8 5% World Cup Coffee and Tea Programing 37.5% Fiction Seating Food Prep/ Counter Storage General Sci-fi 10% Community Spaces Mystery Horror Seats Space Allocation Romance Desks Classics Mic Systems Humor 75 % Books Graphic Novels Rarities 10% Reading Areas 37.5% Non- Fiction Seats Arts Sciences Maths Religions Computers Sofas Computers Health/ Lifestyles How-Tos History Textbooks Quiet
  43. 43. Program Space Occupancy Noise Location Plumbing Special Seating Daylight Organization Privacy Equipment Fiction High High (lots of Central No Computers Comfy Yes Moderate Moderate Children) Non-Fiction High Low Central No Computers/ Comfy Yes High High Scanners World Cup High High Secluded Yes Yes (for Basic N/A N/A Low food and bathrooms) Community High Spread No Yes (microphone, No Basic N/A N/A High Areas throughout computer system) Reading Areas Low Low Spread No No Comfy N/A N/A High throughout Page 41
  44. 44. Adjacency Matrix Fiction Non-Fiction Community Area X Separate Reading Area Immediate (inside) World Cup Unimportant Convenient Page 42
  45. 45. Original Bubble Diagrams Bubble Diagram 1 Page 43
  46. 46. Original Bubble Diagrams Bubble Diagram 2 Page 44
  47. 47. Final Bubble Diagram Backrooms World Cup Storage Community Areas Bathroom Fiction Reading Areas Key Non-fiction Immediate/ Inside Separate Convenient/ Close Not Important Page 45
  48. 48. 9 Site Study Power Plant at Lucky Strike At the Corner of Cary and Pear Street The Power Plant at Lucky where is one of warehousebuilding in Richmond’s historic Tobacco Row. Tobacco Row is an area of downtown Richmond Strike tobacco the oldest and cigarette factories thrived in the early 1800s. The buildings are all brick and multi- storied to protect the tobacco from fires, which were all too common at the time (Tobacco Row). The area was abandoned by the tobacco companies by the late 1980s. In 1995 the Richmond Flood Wall was completed, and many of the old warehouses of Tobacco Row were modernized. They have been converted into loft apartments, condominiums, offices, and retail spaces (Tobacco Row). The Power Plant is at the end of Tobacco Row and supplied power to all of the other buildings along the River. Historic renovations of the Lucky Strike (as it is called now) has been ongoing for years by various firm’s in Richmond. The space is currently under construction by Odell Architects. The Lucky Strike is a large building at 18,000 square feet with two tenant spaces, and 45 parking spaces. I chose this building because of its location to Shockoe Bottom, the James River, and re-developing neighborhoods of Church Hill. It has inherent beauty with two story glass windows and several skylights, which will make a perfect space for Powell’s City of Books. Page 46
  49. 49. Shockoe Bottom To bac co Ro w Church Hill Neighborhoods Ja m es Ri ve r Page 49
  50. 50. Ground Floor Second Floor Page 50
  51. 51. East Elevation Mezzanine Floors Page 51
  52. 52. 10 Building Code Analysis LEED Commercial Interiors Sustainable Site: The building Hill. These neighborhoodsincurrently that ismany children, some downtown.literacy east, is theChurch Hill is area of Church I have chosen is located an area have central to a growing who have To the problems. residential currently undergoing renovations and gentrification. Schools are located nearby, as well as bus lines and bike trails along the James River. The site has an existing parking lot for the convince of drivers with 40 parking spaces. In this parking lot, priority will be given to those who carpool, the handicap, pregnant women, and people who drive eco-friendly cars (such as hybrids and Mercedes Smart cars). Space will be available for school buses to park as well. Energy and Atmosphere: Energy will be optimized through lighting controls which are daylight responsive. This is critical for the building because it has such an abundance of natural light. Without these special controls, energy would otherwise be wasted through the day. Because of so much glass and glare, solar gain will be controlled by manual and automatic sun shades. All equipment and appliances will be Energy Star rated. Page 52
  53. 53. Materials and Resources: Because the building is historic, it is currently under strict regulation for renovations. The majority of existing features, such as wooden beams with graffiti, metal stairs, skylights, and even a large concrete wall are to remain untouched. This keeps the historical integrity of the building and is a reminder of the power plant it use to be. 30% of furnishing and furniture will be from refurbished, used, or green manufactures who may be local to Richmond. Waste baskets shall be placed throughout the space, but they will all be recycling bins that are clearly labeled. Indoor Environmental Quality: All individual spaces shall have separate ventilation and lighting controls. Because of the large windows and the skylights, the majority of light will be natural sunlight. Views will therefore be provided in 90% of the spaces with a view to the river. There will be no smoking allowed inside and only one designated smoking area outside adjacent to the parking lot. Occupancy Classification Powell’s Bookstore is a mixed use occupancy. There will be 100+ people in building and areas such as the cafe and merchant spaces. The sales floor and the cafe are what makes the building a mixed use occupancy. These two occupancies are classified as non-separted uses and will be restricted according to A-2 assembly codes. Library/ Merchant Sales Floor M----------------- For display and sale of merchant and stocked goods (International Building Code 2003). Restaurant (Cafe) A-2-------------- With Group S-2 (Low Hazard) because of food, in non- combustible containers, fruits and vegetables, empty cans, glass bottles, and empty glass bottles (International Building Code 2003).
  54. 54. Construction Type This building would be considered a Type III construction. A Type III construction is that type of construction in which the exterior walls are of noncombustible materials (brick) and the interior building elements are of any material permitted by this code. Fire retardant treated wood framing complying with Section 2303.2 shall be permitted within exterior wall assemblies with a 2-hour rating or less (International Building Code 2003). Allowable Area and Number of Floors for Use Group The Gross is floor area within walls- no deduction of existing features like columns, stairs, or closets (International Building Code 2003). The Net is actual occupied space- not including mechanical rooms, closets, toilets, stairs, or corridors (International Building Code 2003). International Building Code Classification Occupancy Floor Area in Sq. Ft. Per Purpose Occupant A-2 Assembly without fixed seats 15 Net Seating area in cafe (unconstrained) Assembly with standing space 5 Net Line space A-3 Library Reading rooms 50 Net Relaxation Areas Stack Area 100 Gross Bookshelves M Areas on other floors 60 Gross Second floor and mezzanine Grade floor 30 Gross First floor Storage 300 Gross Storage for online book sales
  55. 55. Exits The building will be sprinklered. The separation distance of at least two exits will not be less than 1/3 of length of max overall diagonal dimension. The first level floor has three existing exits (International Building Code 2003). 1013.2.1- The neighboring tenant of the first floor shall be provided with access to the required exits without passing through adjacent tenant spaces (International Building Code 2003). 1013.3- Common path of egress will not exceed 75 feet (International Building Code 2003). 1013.4- Aisles- width must be clear of protruding objects. Walking surfaces on egress paths will be slip resistant and secure (International Building Code 2003). 1003.6- Continuity of egress shall not be interrupted by building elements (International Building Code 2003). 1004.1.2- The number of occupants computed at rate of one occupant per unit area (International Building Code 2003). Plumbing Fixtures International Building Code Classification Male/ Female Water Closets Lavatories Fountain Other A-2 1 per 40 1 per 75 1 per 500 1 service sink M 1 per 25 for first 50 1 per 40 for first 50 1 per 100 1 service sink 1 per 50 for remainder 1 per 80 for remainder Page 55
  56. 56. Works Cited “Are used bookstores owners going broke?” Yahoo! Answers. 22 Oct. 2008 <;_ylt=AkOONp86wItSXRFmK3tvqJTty6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20081006122731AAtYCDp>. Don, Dustystar, Lostunic, Roximunro, Sabine M, Spritual but not Religous, and Zena Rae <>. Barreneche, Raul. “Global Outlook- Sao Paolo.” Fulcrum Magazine. Volume 1, Issue 1. June 2008: 52-53. “Boutique del Libro - Bookstore and Cafe.” Buenos Aires Argentina Guide. 2008. 17 Dec. 2008 <>. Brockwell, Kent J. “’New Homes on the Hill’ in Economic Development.” 26 Dec. 2006. 29 Dec. 2008 <>. “El Ateneo.” Wikipedia. 10 Oct. 2008. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 17 Dec. 2008 <>. Gentile, Ginger. “El Ateno Buenos Aires, Argentina.” Geobeats Productions. 17 Dec. 2008 <>. “How To Make It Big With A Used Book Store.” Iverson Software Co. 21 Dec. 2008 <>. International Code Council, 2003. International Building Code. Delmar Cengage Learning, First Edition. March, 2003. “Powell’s Books.” Powell’s Books. 22 Dec. 2008 <>.
  57. 57. Prestidge, Holly. “Va. SAT Scores Edge Up.” -Richmond’s Entertainment, News, and Community Resource. 27 Aug. 2008. 29. Dec. 2008 <>. “Richmond Virginia (VA) Used & Independent Book Stores.” Richmond Good Life. 22 Dec. 2008 <>. Roberts, Maggie. Personal Interview. 20 September 2008. Robinson, Dindy. “Improve Your Writing Skills by Reading.” Interaction Media Group. 27 Dec. 2008 <>. “RPS Academic Record of SAT I: 2006-2007.” Richmond Public Schools. 23 Dec. 2008 <>. Siegel, David S., and Susan Siegel. “Overview and Statistical Analysis of Used Book Market.” The Used Book Lover’s Guides, Book Hunter Press, 2003. 23 Dec. 2008. <>. “Tobacco Row.” Wikipedia. 25 Nov. 2008. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 22 Dec. 2008 <>.