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Emporium headed to auction

Archie and Patricia Auger of Bristol, N.H., stroll through The Strasburg Emporium on North Massanutten Street in Strasburg on Tuesday. The property, which is owned by the Bernstein Family Foundation, is scheduled to be sold at auction in May. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

Brian Mullins of Strasburg walks outside the entrance to The Strasburg Emporium on Monday. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

The three attached buildings at 160 N. Massanutten St. in Strasburg, along with its parking lot and adjoining house, will be auctioned off on May 15. Photo courtesy of Tranzon Fox. (Buy photo)

By Ryan Cornell

One of the last remaining properties owned by the late Leo M. Bernstein will be sold next month.

An antique mall -- comprising the Strasburg Emporium and its two attached buildings, parking lot and adjacent house -- is set to be auctioned off at 1 p.m. May 15. The auction will be held on the property at 160 N. Massanutten St., Strasburg.

Built in 1950, the building totals 52,500 square feet and its tax-assessed value is listed at $2.13 million. It sits on 2.3 acres of land in downtown Strasburg.

The property will be auctioned by Tranzon Fox. Jeff Stein, partner at Tranzon Fox, said the antique mall has been in the Bernstein family for most of the past three decades and will be sold as an "ongoing concern."

"That means the business stays intact," said Stein, noting that its gross income was $287,000 in 2013.

"It would be perfect for someone who's looking to retire and maybe have something that they can manage that still produces them an income, or someone who owns lots of real estate that they manage so it's turnkey."

The Bernstein Family Foundation currently owns the property through Emporium Properties LLC.

Ami Aronson, granddaughter of Bernstein and managing director of the foundation, said the money raised from the auction will go toward the foundation, which supports culture and the arts, American democracy and Jewish causes.

"My grandfather, one of his great passions is he loved history, he loved America, and the Emporium was a gateway into his character because it was all about the people and celebrating the history through antiques," she said.

Bernstein, who died in 2008, once owned a significant amount of Strasburg real estate, including all of the buildings surrounding the Emporium, until much of it was sold four years ago.

"I'm 45 years old, I have memories as a little girl of picking out different things, records and magazines...I can't remember a time it wasn't in our family," Aronson said. She said the foundation still owns property at Hupp's Hill.

Stein said there is no minimum reserve price, and the sale is subject to seller confirmation. A cashier's check for $50,000 must be presented to bid on the property.

Other properties auctioned at 11 a.m. May 15 include the historic Larrick's Tavern adjacent to the Wayside Inn and a commercial lot on the corner of Main Street and First Street in Middletown.

An online auction ending May 16 is selling multiple lots in Middletown and a 20-acre building lot in Star Tannery.

For more information, visit tranzon.com or call 888-621-2110.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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