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Former Camillus Cutlery HQ Transformed into Mixed-Use "Camillus Mills" After Years of Uncertainty

More than a decade after it closed, the former Camillus Cutlery headquarters in the Village of Camillus has been renovated into mixed-used commercial, retail, and residential space.   For years, revitalization of the 115-year-old building seemed almost impossible.  Original redevelopment plans fell through, and a fire burned down the former factory next door in 2013.  Now, developer Doug Sutherland and Mayor Patricia Butler-Rhoades reflect on the $9.7 million transformation into Camillus Mills.

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
A look down Main Street in the Village of Camillus, with the new Camillus Mills development in the former Camillus Cutlery Co. headquarters.

The project preserves the National Historic Landmark status of the 42,000 square foot space with 29 apartments and 8,500 square feet of commercial retail space.  

At its peak, Camillus Cutlery employed more than 300 people who manufactured nearly two million knives.  They supplied pocket knives to the U.S. Armed Forces, Boy Scouts of America, and sportsmen for civilian use.  

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at