Murphy-Brookfield Books closing, Haunted Bookshop moving into store’s area

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 17, 2013 5:00 AM

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A new round of changes are coming for one popular Iowa City historic district.

Murphy-Brookfield Books, 219 N. Gilbert St., will close after 33 years in business, then transition to an online-only platform.

The 1847 house, known as the Wentz-Stach House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is expected to remain in operation as a bookstore.

The Haunted Bookshop will make a nearby move from its current space, 203 N. Linn St., by the end of the year.

The moves follow several years of urban gentrification efforts undertaken by a number of developers.

Over the last 10 years, the several square-block district has seen the addition of new restaurants, a wine & cheese bar, apartments, and retail space.

Earlier this month, Tom Kaut, a real-estate agent and developer at Lepic-Kroeger Realtors, moved forward with his plans for a new residential and commercial building on a North Linn Street property.

Consisting of 12 apartment units and 2,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space, Kaut told the DI in a Sept. 5 interview that estimated complete building costs will run between $3 million and $4 million.

It will also be the first building in Iowa City to include a rooftop garden, he said.

A final completion date for the project remains tentative.

— by Quentin Misiag

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