The Trumansburg community recently mourned the demise of Millspaugh Brothers, Inc., a neighborhood hardware store and vendor of choice for everyone from local carpenters, contractors and do-it-yourselfers to those simply in need of building advice or a one-off screw. Several generations of the Millspaughs welcomed builders and neighbors over the course of seventy years. While other mom and pop businesses felt damaging pressure from the big-box stores, the sellers’ roots in the community ran deep, and they said there was plenty of business for them, but that it was just time for them to retire. 

Now, that building is up for sale, ready for someone to create their own legacy on the property.

In the 6,200 square foot retail store, one of 11 buildings on the property, a long, clear expanse, undergirded by hardwood floors, could probably tell some stories. That building also houses several offices, a storeroom, and a couple of loos. 

A nearby multi-story utility building was formerly used for lumber storage, shaping millwork, cutting window glass, and piecing together made-to-order screen doors. It is huge, has a newer-looking metal roof, and feels solid -- your structural engineer can be the judge. It might be re-fashioned into living quarters, studio space, or both, or something entirely different. 

A third large building was used as a garage, and could be a staging area during construction or storage for the largest yacht on the lake.  There is plenty of parking in the current configuration, and certainly opportunity for more, depending upon what the buyers decide to do with the acreage and the remaining barns and sheds.

Sited on Trumansburg Village’s leafy Cayuga Street, the 3.4-acre property encompasses more than 20,000 square feet of glorious opportunity. In addition, the lot peers out over the now-rushing Taughannock Creek, which goes on to become Taughannock Falls.

While the lot feels woodsy and private, it offers all the comforts of village living. WiFi is available and municipal water and natural gas run to the property. While the sellers never had the need to hook up to the municipal sewer system, it’s right there at the street. Best yet, the lot is within walking distance of schools, Trumansburg’s many restaurants, taverns, bank, shops, library, bowling alley, arts conservatory, farmers market, and Trumansburg’s own popular Gimme! Coffee outlet. It’s a bike ride away from Taughannock Falls State Park with its picnic areas, trails, boat launch, and famous falls. 

What’ll it be?  Artists’ lofts? Condominiums? Single family homes? Duplexes? Mixed use with housing and a sorely needed community center, with the blessings of, and a variance from the Village of Trumansburg Planning Department? The possibilities are mind-boggling. Variance aside, its next owners are restricted only by the limits of their own imaginations. And Tompkins County can certainly use more housing. • 

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