The Book House: Shop in Historic House Gets Eviction Notice, Storage Site in the Works

click to enlarge Michelle Barron at the Book House. - Jennifer Silverberg for RFT
Jennifer Silverberg for RFT
Michelle Barron at the Book House.

That was quick.

On Monday we reported that the Book House, a beloved local shop, could soon be homeless as developers and the city of Rock Hill explore the possibility of demolishing the historic property to make way for a large storage facility. The out-of-state developer Great Northern Development LLC and Rock Hill officials both told us that talks are very preliminary at this point.

Two days later owner Michelle Barron received her formal eviction notice.

"For the first time, I actually broke down crying," she tells Daily RFT. "The time I've been dreading...has happened."

See also: - Book House: Will Developers Demolish Historic Rock Hill Site For Storage Facility?

The notice says that Barron and her shop have 90 days before the lease is officially terminated, which means she has to be out by the end of July.

She does not own the two-story Gothic Revival house that dates back to 1853, but the Book House has had a lease in the space for decades.

The Book House. - via
The Book House.

"We've got to get concentrated on moving," says Barron, who has gotten a lot of press attention this week since news broke of the possible demolition. "I'm trying to find a space."

The developers have a purchase agreement with the landlord, Rex Stahl, but have not yet submitted a formal application to the city and thus have not yet gotten any approvals for the possible "EZ Storage" project on the site off of Manchester Road.

Regardless, Stahl is ending Barron's lease.

"He is just exercising his rights under the lease," David Waltrip, an attorney representing Stahl, tells Daily RFT. (Stahl did not respond to a request for comment.)

Barron's attorney and the landlord agreed to the current lease and an addendum with the 90-day stipulation, Stahl notes.

Waltrip also says that Barron had an opportunity to purchase the house -- but backed out.

Continue for more on the future of the Book House and for more photos.