Walls of Books Opening Wednesday! Have a Sneak Peek Inside DC’s Newest Used Bookstore

walls of books
3325 Georgia Ave, NW courtesy Walls of Books

Great news for bibliophiles, Walls of Books is soft opening Wednesday, January 13th! Hours will be 10 am to 8 pm. The name is most definitely apt:

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“Walls of Books is excited to join the Park View, Petworth, and surrounding neighborhoods – providing social and economic value to the community and individuals through our affordable books and toys, community events and programs, and economic opportunities,” said Pablo Sierra, owner of Walls of Books-DC. “At least 99% of our books are quality used books at discounted prices. And with our trade-in and store credit program, you can often purchase our books at more than 75% off the retail price. The store also carries Meliessa & Doug toys and educational products – promoting eduction and creativity.”

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33 Comment

  • looks like they haven’t spent much money on the renovation, but i don’t understand how that place can stay in business. maybe there’s a niche consumer base in petworth that can’t access amazon

    • Some people (myself included) choose to buy books from local stores and not Amazon.

    • The developer still plans to demolish this whole block for a new building. For some reason they’re waiting a few years and this is just a cheap way for them to avoid being taxed at the vacant rate.

      • So cynical…. but so true.

        I think we can do better for this little corner.

        • We can, but for now this is good. Eventually what is there will be razed and replaced with a building. This is better than the blighted building it was with a big chain-link fence around it. The developer is waiting to demolish because there’s some kind of “environmental issue” from the gas station being there. They basically asked for an extension and it was granted.

          • They are also trying to buy up the whole block and a couple small businesses in between that and Mothership won’t sell. I was told the “environmental issue” (i.e. underground tanks) were real but no way would take as long as Zuckerman was saying.

            Apparently they are developing the old Murry’s first though I’ve seen nothing to indicate any movement or that there will be in the near future. All that being said I am glad for a few businesses on that strip since they have been squatting on abandoned buildings for some time now!

        • Yeah, I know all about Zuckerman. Yep, they said Murry’s would be first to be developed and that was at least 6 months ago. I don’t imagine seeing anything on Murry’s for at least two years. What’s weird is there is development moving along up by Fish in the Hood and another building planned elsewhere. I don’t understand what exactly Zuckerman is waiting for. Also, has the new tenant opened in the old Mothership space yet?

          • Nope, no movement in Mothership yet, but it’s just going to be a temporary popup anyway. There is some kind of buildout happening in the spot next to Walls of Books here, where the carryout used to be. Zuckerman hasn’t bothered to put up the cameras on their vacant properties (including Murry’s) they promised back in August.

          • @jcm, I am aware of the buildout which I am not excited about ‘temporary’ aspect either but at least will get positive traffic in the area. Trust me, I’d rather they build since the ‘Vue’ would’ve been there 4 years ago if they didn’t buy the property. The new buildout actually sounds pretty cool.

            Re: Mothership cameras, they looked into it but I understand the front ones would duplicate MPD;s and the side one would not properly cover the alley.

    • Used book stores usually aren’t very fancy. Not quite sure what your expecting. Having something isn’t an overpriced boutique, a 7-11 or a CVS is probably an asset anywhere.

      • justinbc

        LOL, seriously, this isn’t supposed to be a Barnes & Noble with cushy chairs and a built-in Starbucks so you sit around all day reading and not buying.

    • It can stay in business if we as a community commit to keeping it in business. I think it looks terrific. Expensive or not, they clearly put thought and effort into it, and we’ll definitely drop in.

      • It’s obviously not intended to stay in business. Just by avoiding the blighted tax rate Zuckerman is better off. They’ll be there until Zuckerman wants to develop the property, then they’ll be gone.

        I suppose if they do really well they’ll find another space, but frankly it’s hard to imagine them making enough money to pay market rate on a space in that neighborhood.

  • Listen, I think this place looks nice. It’s certainly nicer than 99% of most of the businesses in and around it. Anything that’s not a corner store, pay day loan center, burner cell phone carrier, strip club or liquor store; I’m in favor of. Georgia Abenue has enough of those businesses as it is. A bookstore is welcome!

  • It looks really good. Especially the kids area. Used kids books should be a huge seller!

  • Oh, I love this. Great addition to the neighborhood.

  • Good luck to Walls of Books, but I wish they were opening on the ground floor of a new building rather than being a placeholder tenant. I really wish Zuckerman would stop screwing around and actually develop some of the properties they’re warehousing on Georgia Ave. They’re singlehandedly keeping the neighborhood from improving.
    .
    And meanwhile the city wants to destroy a park because they can’t find anywhere on Georgia to build housing. It’s really frustrating.

  • Great addition to the neighborhood!

  • What was formerly in this space?

  • It is disappointing that before Zuckerman purchased from NDC this property was approved and ready to move forward for 110 Market Rate apartments called the Vue. This was announced in 2010 and well on its way in 2011 until the brakes were put on when Zuckerman purchased the property.

    All that said and given the situation, I met the owner of Wall of Books and think he’s a really nice guy and wish him all the success in the neighborhood. Let’s hope Zuckerman keep there promise to push the Murry’s property forward in the near future.

    • The irony of this is that Zuckerman now needs to meet the minimum number of affordable units in whatever new building he puts up. The Vue probably would not have had that requirement.
      Derp.

      • The whole business with ADUs is such a fiasco anyways. I wonder if they’re just waiting for a new administration to make that disappear.

  • I believe part of the delay is Zuckerman’s decision to try to make this a PUD. The environmental remediation is complete (at least that’s what I heard).

    Zuckerman didn’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts. Not only does this help with the vacant tax rate as noted but there has been a LOT of community pressure on them due to all the run down properties they own along that stretch of GA Ave w/o any immediate construction in the works. It wouldn’t surprise me if the tenants (and it looks like some of the other vacant stores in this strip mall are also being worked on) are getting free or very low cost leases and in return Zuckerman gets some tax relief and the good graces of the ANC.

  • I am sure this will be a huge asset to the area! The store is owned and run by a veteran living in Ward 4 who has a community-centered focus and wants to also host neighborhood events (apparently there is a lot of space at this location).

  • SouthwestDC

    Was their sign secondhand too? It looks so retro.

  • I’m probably going out on a limb here, but is it entirely possible that the Zuckermans are leasing this space to a tenant because that’s what landlords do? I don’t think you can just advertise for a commercial tenant on Craigslist like you can for a residential one. Maybe it just took some time.

    • From the community meeting I attended about this issue, it seemed pretty clear that the reason Zuckerman is renting this space out is to avoid getting taxed at the rate for vacant properties.

  • This looks rad. Can’t wait to check it out with and for my daughter. Thanks and good luck, Wall of Books!

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