Chattanooga: McKay relocating in June

Chattanooga: McKay relocating in June

March 19th, 2009 by Jason Reynolds in Business

McKay Used Books & CDs is moving soon to a new, larger site off the interstate with more parking for those who shop there.

The store will move no later than June 1 to a building under construction at the 7700 block of Lee Highway, said owner Anne Jacobson. The new building, which faces Interstate 75's Exit 7, is next to Thunder Creek Harley Davidson, off Bonny Oaks Drive.

"We like being close to the highway," said Aaron Bandel, assistant manager.

Parker Wamack and his son Chad Wamack of Grubb & Ellis/Hudson brokered the sale of the two lots that McKay bought for the new building. The two sites previously had been sold to businessmen who wanted to build a restaurant/pool hall and a hotel, Parker Wamack said.

The Wamacks have the current building on Lee Highway near Highway 153 listed for sale at $1.195 million.

McKay's selection of CDs and DVDs will be housed on a walkway that runs around the top interior of the new building, Ms. Jacobson said. The store will add records to its inventory in a nod to resurgence in demand for vinyl albums, she said. Audio books will be downstairs along with the book selections.

The new site provides more parking, she said, in addition to more space. The new building has a footprint of about 27,000 square feet, plus 15,000 square feet upstairs. The old site has about 19,000 square feet on the ground and 4,000 square feet upstairs exclusively for office and other business use, not customer displays.

Ms. Jacobson said that McKay was founded in the late 1970s as a "free-enterprise library," or bookstore with a variety of books a person could buy cheaply and return later for credit on other books. There are 800 subcategories of books, which are organized similar to a library system, she said.

The store uses a proprietary computer system to price the value of media and other items, she said. The amount of materials McKay buys varies each day, Ms. Jacobson said, but last Saturday the store bought about 7,500 items from customers.