Old Marcellus library building thriving under new ownership

On Jan. 13, the village of Marcellus finalized its sale of the library building to Alex Mitchell, who is using it as a studio to design the prefabricated material that keeps alive the vision of a business started by his grandfather in 1930.

The business is named Alexander Mitchell and Sons Inc., and aside from bringing new blood into an old building, it has also helped Marcellus eliminate the debt on the building that sat vacant for two years.

“We supply miscellaneous building supplies for commercial construction such as lockers, toilet partitions and floor mats,” Mitchell said.

In 2009, the village purchased the former Marcellus Free Library Building with a plan to resell it and bring down the debt on it. It took two years, but Marcellus Mayor John Curtin said the $150,000 in revenue brought in by the sale all went toward eliminating the debt.

“To be clear, it got rid of the debt on the building, not the whole village,” Curtin said, adding: “It was a relief. It lifted an albatross while cutting back on taxes.”

In the deal worked out, the village kept the parking lot behind the building, and Curtin said that will remain for use by the public.

In total, the building has 7,500-square-feet of usable space, of which 5,000 is taken up by the business, Mitchell said. On the top floor is an apartment, while the boutique Funky Fashion, a place that specializes in custom sewing and fabrics, occupies a space on the first floor.

Mitchell said that since purchasing the building, he has put a new roof over Funky Fashion, and plans on giving the landscape a makeover once the weather permits. He said he has made numerous changes and fix-ups to the inside of the building, including wiring for high-speed internet for use throughout the former library.

Mitchell said he wanted to thank a few people who helped him get into, and transform, the building.

“I would like to thank Bill Reagan, the codes enforcement officer, the mayor and the village clerk Dawn [O’Hara] for working closely with me to make sure all went smoothly until we moved on in,” he said.

Curtin said he’s pleased with the progress of the structure.

“He’s remodeled it quite nicely,” Curtin said. “With the sale and development of the building, it’s a win-win for the village and for Mitchell.”

Neil Benjamin Jr. can be reached at nbenjamin@eaglenewsonline.com.

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