Sale of village buildings boon to Millerton's Main Street
MILLERTON â€” The profile of Millerton is about to be raised with the purchase of 34-36 Main St. by business partners Will Little, Chris Little and Andrew Gates.
Will Little is the chairman of The Lakeville Journal Company, LLC, which owns The Millerton News, The Lakeville Journal and The Winsted Journal. He also owns Little Gates Wine Merchants with Gates, and the pair plans to move their Millerton wine shop from South Center Street to their new Main Street address once renovations are completed.
Gates, aside from being managing partner at Little Gates Wine Merchants, is also a broker at Litchfield Hills Sothebyâ€™s International Realty.
Chris Little owns Northwest Corner Classic Cars in Lime Rock, Conn.; he and his father own the building that houses the business at 438 Lime Rock Road, across from Lime Rock Park.
The three business partners closed on the two buildings, which are joined by a large, enclosed, wooden central staircase (and technically are listed as one parcel on the tax map), on Oct. 26. They purchased the buildings from local businessman, contractor and developer, Leo Flood. The property is not fully developed and the owners expect to invest $300,000 in additional renovations.
â€œIâ€™m really jazzed about the project,â€ said Gates, during an interview with the three business partners. â€œItâ€™s a unique region and weâ€™ll have retail, office and gallery space all under one roof.â€
There will also be a loft on the top floor, to be used as a residential unit. In total there are seven units: three retail, an office unit, a gallery unit and two residences. One of the retail units is already taken, by Little Gates Wine Merchants. The partners said they would be thrilled if a food service business expressed interest in one of the other retail spaces.
â€œWhen we originally had the idea for a wine and food business in this area, which goes back many years, Will looked in Massachusetts and Connecticut,â€ Gates said. â€œBut Will liked what Millerton offered, and we thought we could participate in that. Millerton is part of an exciting trend and economic domino. The buildings are a part of that, along with the new diner, for example, of being a part of this exciting village.â€
The total available space for the two buildings amounts to 9,000 square feet. Thatâ€™s not including the additional storage space thatâ€™s being considered underground. The â€œvisionâ€ for the rear of the space is for a wine and food business, so shoppers can get all of their gourmet needs met in one convenient stop.
Kamillaâ€™s Floral Boutique is already located on the ground level, then there will be the wine shop, plus there are the two additional floors above. Gates said if they donâ€™t find a food partner they will likely use that space for another gallery. Gilded Moon Framing is also in one of the retail spaces, but itâ€™s about to move across the street. The frame shop owners recently bought the former M&T Bank building.
One big selling point is that the building has character, the three agreed.
â€œThe building is architecturally unique and mirrors back to the cowboy days,â€ Gates said. â€œItâ€™s a bridge to the past and also the future, in a cool way.â€
Little Gates Wine Merchants, which opened on South Center Street in May 2007, is aiming to open in the new space by the spring.
â€œThe construction may take longer than that,â€ Will Little said, agreeing that the purchase and completion of the buildings should enhance both the aesthetics and the economy of Millertonâ€™s Main Street. â€œThe end date is too hard to predict as weâ€™re just at the beginning of the process now.â€