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Digitial First Puts Vermont News Buildings on the Market

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Digital First Media, owner of New England Newspapers, is shedding itself of more real estate.

On the market along with The Berkshire Eagle Clocktower building are the locations of its three Vermont papers: Bennington Banner, the Brattleboro Reformer ($850,000) and the weekly Manchester Journal ($275,00).

The company announced on Tuesday it was putting 51 properties more properties on the market, for a total of 70 with a value of about $85 million, according to reports in the Denver Post, DFM's flagship paper.

In a press release from Twenty Lakes Holdings, the company's real estate management firm, posted on Poynter, Steve Rossi, president and chief operating officer of Digital First Media, said the strategy was to free "the company from the constraints of being overburdened with underutilized properties."

Real estate broker Praxis Commercial has the listings and prices on its website but not for the Banner, which shows up on a list from Twenty Lakes acquired by Poynter.

Digital First has been asking $2.5 million for the Clocktower Building on South Church Street. Its also selling the Sentinel & Enterprise building in Fitchburg and a printing plant in Devens and the Troy (N.Y.) Record building.

The company shuttered the 15-year-old North Adams Transcript and the Advocate Weekly earlier this year and laid off a number of people.

It's been widely rumored that DFM is being forced to cut a $100 million from its operating budget and that it may be preparing newspapers, not just buildings, for sale. The company closed its much-ballyhooed Thunderdome in April. DFM, which took over management from bankrupt MediaNews Group, has some 10,000 employees and nearly 300 newspapers.


Ferrin Gallery Sells For $160K at Auction

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

Only a few people attended the auction for the North Street building, including representatives from the bank holding the mortgage.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Ferrin Gallery on North Street sold for $160,000 at auction on Tuesday.

Only a few people showed up for the 11 a.m. auction and there was only one bidder. While bids opened at $140,000, the sole bidder offered $160,000 when it was clear no one else was going to jump in. 
The buyer refused to provide any information but left with representatives from the People's United Bank, the mortgageholder.
Aaron Posnik Auctioneers managed the short auction. The building features two commercial/condominium spaces. The Ferrin Gallery most recently occupied it as the only tenant in the building.
The building at 437 and 439 North St. has a total of 2,800 square feet — Unit 102 has 1,340 and Unit 103 has 1,460. there is a 1,900 square-foot basement. It is zoned as a Downtown Arts District Overlay and has parking for more than 20 vehicles in the back.
The purchaser is responsible for $1,885.11 in back taxes owed to the city. 
Leslie Ferrin opened the gallery in 2007 but put it on the market in 2011 for $350,000. Failing to interest any buyers, Ferrin moved her business and closed the gallery last month and the bank took possession.

Williamstown Broker Joins Burnham Gold Real Estate

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Kim Burnham and Rebecca Gold have announced the expansion of Burnham Gold Real Estate with the addition of Tom Elder.  

Established in April 2011, Burnham Gold is located at 191 Water St. and focuses on residential, commercial, land and rental properties.

Elder, a longtime real estate broker with Elder and Associates, joined the firm as of March 18. A resident of Williamstown, he is a past president of the Northern Berkshire YMCA and past board member of Northern Berkshire Regional Hospital.  

He has also served on both the Board of Realtors and the Board of Multiple Listing Services. He enjoys working with sellers and buyers of residential homes, land, and commercial real estate and brings a wealth of local knowledge as well as real estate expertise.

Burnham Gold representatives said they are very excited to have Elder as part of their real estate team.

For more information, call 413-458-0093.


Real Estate Partnership Buys Travel Store Building

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The well-known Travel Store location at 616-620 Main St. was sold to K&J Holdings LLC, a real estate investment and property management partnership, on Dec. 3 for $350,000.

The seller was Claudine R. Auge, owner of the Travel Store. It was built in 1969 and is just over 2,000 square feet with rear parking.

"We're excited about the property," said Allen Jezouit of K&J in a press release. "It is a great location within easy walking distance to the Williams College campus and Spring Street."

The Travel Store will continue operations on the first floor and Berkshire Direct, a local marketing agency, will be relocating from its 173 Water St. location to Main Street in early January.

"We own the Water Street property where Berkshire Direct is located, so their move to Main Street is opening up a nice suite of offices there," said Jezouit, owner of the business. "That's my next priority – getting those offices rented out. Then, we look at more properties to purchase. It is a great time to buy real estate."

The Main Street building features two offices on the first floor and three residential apartments on the second floor. Jezouit said one of the apartments is currently available for rent by contacting K&J Holdings.
Maureen Baran and the team at Adams Community Bank provided financing. The buyers were represented by Alan Marden of Alton & Westall Agency and Stan Parese of Parese, Sabin, Smith and Gold LLP. The listing broker was Paul Harsch of Harsch Associates and Robert Ware was attorney for the seller.


Two Real Estate Agencies Open in Williamstown

Staff Reports


Judy Giamborino, Kim Burnham and Rebecca Gold.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town is getting two new real estate offices, both of which happened to schedule their open houses at almost the same time on Thursday evening, May 12.

The newest venture is among business partners Kim Burnham and Rebecca Gold, along with Judy Giamborino, who said they are excited to announce their new business Burnham Gold Real Estate. All three had been involved with Williamstown Realty,  which closed after principal Michael J. Zeppieri decided to pursue a venture on Cape Cod and put the Water Street building up for sale in March.

Now located at 191 Water St., the three women will focus on representing clients in buying and selling homes, as well as assisting customers within the academic and summer rental market. 

All are longtime residents of Williamstown and are familiar with the area and all that it has to offer. With a combined 60-plus years of experience, they said they are looking forward to utilizing their skills and knowledge to cover all aspects and demographics of the real estate market.

Hours of operation are 10 to 5 Monday through Friday, and Saturdays 10 to 1. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held Thursday, May 12, from 4:30 to 7.

Also on Thursday, well-established Steepleview Realty, around the corner at 63 Spring St., will hold a reception for opening its new office in Williamstown. The agency, owned by Berkshire native Jennifer G. Segala, has offices on Park Street in Adams and Main Street in North Adams. The reception will be from 4 to 7.

Tags: open house, Williamstown      
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