After more than 30 years in business, beloved Brooklyn bookstore BookCourt closed its doors on December 31, much to the anguish of lit-lovers everywhere. The longtime owners sold the two buildings that made up the store to developer Eastern Capital, led by Eli Hamway and Michael Shamah, for $13.6 million.
Recently, the developers filed plans with the Department of Buildings (h/t Brownstoner), which shed some light on what they might do with the bookstore’s former Court Street home. One of the buildings, at 163 Court Street, would remain much the same height-wise, but the plans call for a horizontal enlargement (so, adding space at the back) along with an interior renovation.
The other building, at 161 Court Street, would grow one story (from three to four, and from 35 feet to 60), and its one residential unit would be totally transformed into six new apartments, one of which would be a duplex. There would also still be a store on the ground floor.
The architect of record listed on the plans for 163 Court is Charles Mallea, who you may remember for the Ridgewood building that has an audacious, not-that-pretty design, or from Williamsburg’s Jenga-like rental on South 3rd Street.
There is, of course, a caveat: the plans for both buildings were disapproved, so this isn’t set in stone yet. But it does mean that changes are definitely in store for that particular stretch of Court Street.