Thirty-six more students will have the opportunity to live in the heart of uptown beginning with the 2011-12 academic year as Dubois Bookstore rebuilds with the addition of apartments.
According to owner John DuBois, he did not want to lose the uptown location and knew the market is there for premium housing.
“They’ll be very nice apartments with the amenities that make it a cool hot place to live and a super location,” DuBois said.
In early July, DuBois will close the doors to its uptown building and re-open in Stewart Square on South College Avenue, its temporary location. There will also be a smaller version of the store located on West Park Place uptown that DuBois described as a souvenir and clothing shop.
He does not think, however, the temporary move will be detrimental to business.
“The long term benefits will weigh out the short term pains of moving out and putting the building up,” DuBois said. “It’s going to be quite an expenditure, but we feel that it makes sense.”
Scott Webb, architect for the project, added that the upgrade will make the building handicap accessible.
DuBois added that it’s not as though the building is deteriorating and requires rebuilding, but the upgrades will enhance the space.
“It’s a nice store and it’s not like it’s falling apart or anything like that,” DuBois said.
DuBois said the store is able to undergo this change because of recent changes to zoning rules in Oxford. The store can now build to the lot line and have more than three apartments in one building, among other rules.
An example of construction before the change in rules is Bella Place, Webb said. The complex actually consists of three buildings each with three apartments.
“It cuts up all the commercial space underneath,” Webb said. “It’s still not rented.”
Webb has also been involved in the design of the properties at Stewart Square and 25 W. High St., the building that will soon house Fiesta Charra.