Saturday, September 22, 2018
Books

Inkwood Books making a move to Tampa Heights

After 26 years in a Hyde Park bungalow, Inkwood Books is moving.

But fans of one of Tampa's favorite independent bookstores needn't fear. Its new home will be just a couple of miles away, in burgeoning Tampa Heights.

"I was afraid it was going to get leaked," Inkwood owner Stefani Beddingfield said of the news. She posted about the move on Facebook on Friday after young adult author Leigh Bardugo (Wonder Woman: Warbringer) mentioned her Sept. 27 event at Inkwood's new location on her website.

"I haven't even signed the lease yet, so I hope this all works out," Beddingfield said with a laugh.

She is excited about the new location at 1809 N Tampa St. "It's right across the street from the Hall on Franklin," a new restaurant cooperative, and near Hidden Springs Ale Works and Foundation Coffee, she said. Ulele is "a short walk."

"I think we'll get a little more synergy" with those nearby businesses. "People can walk across the street for a cocktail, or have coffee and then come to a book signing."

The new location will almost double Inkwood's bookselling space, to about 2,300 square feet. The commercial space was most recently a martial arts school. "You could go skating in there now," Beddingfield said. "Now I somehow have to make it charming."

The building will offer more room for book signings and other events, which are among Inkwood's most popular amenities. Parking, which has long been an issue at the original location at 216 S Armenia Ave., should be less of a problem, with more spaces available nearby and, Beddingfield said, "no towing."

The move is happening because the Armenia property is on the market. Beddingfield purchased the bookstore business from owners Carla Jimenez and Leslie Reiner in 2013 and leased the space.

"Carla and Leslie own the property, and they're selling it. It's been on the market for a while," she said, for an asking price of $899,000.

Beddingfield recently moved to Tampa Heights and has witnessed the energy in the neighborhood's redevelopment, so she is enthusiastic about bringing her business there.

"For a very short period of time I'll have two stores. What I'm toying with is a kind of bookstore popup shop on Sept. 1 (in Tampa Heights). Maybe sell a hundred titles, our 'Best of 2017.' "

She also plans to hold all of Inkwood's events at the new location through the fall, although the original store will remain open through the holidays.

The target date for Inkwood to fully open in Tampa Heights is Jan. 15, Beddingfield said. "I'm figuring out how to make it a bookstore and a community center."

Contact Colette Bancroft at [email protected] or (727) 893-8435. Follow @colettemb.

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