Ukazoo Books

Ukazoo Books has a new home, which means the moving sale that turned into a closing sale is back to being a moving sale.

Ukazoo’s owners announced today that the store will be moving to 8641 Loch Raven Boulevard, a block south of the Bel-Loc Diner.

“Ukazoo will reopen in mid to late January at Loch Raven and Joppa Road, next door to Tunes,” the owners stated in Facebook post. “Lots of parking, no stairs to carry up buyback books, and more manageable rent.”

The announcement marks the end to a roller coaster month and a period of uncertainty for the independent book store, located at 730 Dulaney Valley Road in Towson since 2007.

The owners launched a moving sale in late October, after announcing they planned to move to a smaller location in Parkville to cut costs. Race Pace Bicycles disclosed plans to take over Ukazoo’s space in Towson.

When the smaller space fell through, Ukazoo’s owners said the moving sale was becoming a closing sale, but they would continue looking for a new location. They said they wanted to be within five miles of the current store, preferably in Parkville, and the new location meets that criteria.

Edward Whitfill, co-owner of Ukazoo, said the new location is a former gym with 2,800 square feet of space, about one-third the size of the current store.

The Loch Raven location also has off-street parking and direct visibility and opportunity for signs along a main corridor, something the current location doesn’t have because it’s set back from Dulaney Valley Road.

Whitfill said Ukazoo plans to have about 50,000 volumes in the new location, down from 100,000 in the Towson store. Because of the way properties are identified, he said, the store is technically in Towson (the 21286 zip code), and the adjacent parking lot is in Parkville.

Whitfill said Ukazoo won’t have access to the new space until Jan. 1, and it will take some time after that to get it ready for use as a bookstore. For now, he said, Ukazoo will remain open in Towson until Dec. 11.

“We’ve signed a lease that gives us up to nine years” in the new location, he said. “We’ll have half the number of books in a third of the space. But we’ve never had visibility like this. There are some real positives. I think this will give us a longer life span and help make our business more viable.”

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.

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