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'Better Block' Program Eyed To Bring Morningside's Vision To Life

Seeing is believing. For the last year MassDevelopment has been in a planning process for the redevelopment of Tyler Street. But, words on paper doesn't always tell the story. But those visions and dreams enunciated by the Morningside community are set to become a reality, if only for a day. MassDevelopment has brought in Team Better Block, a group which will head a community effort to bring all of those ideas to life on one section of Tyler Street to show off exactly what can be. The imp

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Senate President Gets Feel For Berkshires' Economic Future

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg sat in on a number of meetings in the Berkshire on Friday to discuss the county's economic future. The Amherst Democrat knows a lot of the issues already from prior meetings here and representing the rural Franklin County.

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North Adams Developer Sees Historic Mill as Thriving Business Hub

Local developer David Moresi envisions filling the former Excelsior Mill on Roberts Drive with a thriving community of entrepreneurs, businesses and artisans. He expects to make announcements in the coming weeks about new tenants that are already in the works and will begin aggressively marketing the complex.

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Pittsfield Launches Coordinated Approach to Economic Development

Christopher Kapiloff has some big contracts in the works for Laminated Technologies Inc. and he'll be looking to expand. He can expand anywhere and down south, where his competitors are based, it is less expensive to do business. But he is a Berkshire guy and grew his business in Pittsfield so he wants to stay. He went to the mayor's office and asked if there was some way the city could help cover the gap to build an expanded facility.

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Economic Development Sec. Ash Holds Summit On Workforce Development

The state has brought together local leaders to develop a "blueprint" for regional workforce development. Representatives from business, education, and community organizations met with Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash on Tuesday for a four-hour planning session. The session is part of seven Workforce Skills Cabinet meetings across the state with the hope to better align the education, workforce development, and economic development.

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Local Economic Specialists See Mall Site As An 'Opportunity'

Two years ago, BRPC undertook a survey of the available properties that are zoned for industrial usage, near main roads, and in proximity (not necessarily served by) to utilities. Only 41 of those properties have more than three acres of undeveloped, buildable land.

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Secretary Ash Tours Greylock Works Project

Greylock Works received a $2,176,341 MassWorks grant last fall to redo the entry and parking lots on the east and south side of the sprawling structure. Part of that grant was a 10-year easement for the city to allow use of the parking for the adjacent Alcombright Athletic Complex.

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North Adams Initiative Pursuing Eagle Street Crowdfunding Grant

The city is hoping to build on the recent enthusiasm surrounding the Small Business Revolution to leverage those online votes into online dollars. The goal: to raise $25,000 by May 5 toward a matching MassDevelopment grant to make historic Eagle Street more attractive to pedestrians and visitors.

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Four Towns Sharing Economic Development Planner

BRPC is looking to "rapidly expand" a shared economic planner job. Four towns, Hinsdale, Great Barrington, Clarksburg, and Lanesborough, had signed onto a project to bring on a full-time economic development specialist. William Compton was hired for the position and now splits his time working with the various communities.

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Secretary Jay Ash Presents Award To Apex, Discusses Manufacturing

Apex Resource Technologies, an injection molding company who found a particular niche in the medical devise manufacturing business, is just one example of the manufacturing that Massachusetts stills has, and wants to grow. Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash joined state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier Tuesday to highlight the company's efforts with the presentation of the first annual Massachusetts Manufacturing Caucus Award.

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Adams May Look at Tax Break Incentives For Businesses

The town may take a more in-depth look at business tax incentives to attract companies to the industrial park and downtown. Selectman John Duval asked Wednesday during a workshop meeting if the town could benefit from offering tax breaks to businesses of all kinds in hopes of attracting some that will create jobs and vibrancy downtown.

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North County Economic Forum Looks at Opportunities

There was a strong sense of optimism on Saturday as dozens of business and community leaders gathered to address North County's economic development. From hundreds of millions of dollars in current public and private investment to local entrepreneurs to a dropping jobless rate to ambitious plans for downtown development, the future seemed brighter than in years past.

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State Economic Development Secretary Tours Williamstown's Waubeeka

The commonwealth's top economic development officer said last week that he liked what he saw at Waubeeka Golf Links and thinks it might be a good fit for the kind of resort and conference center envisioned by its owner. Secretary for Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash spent Tuesday evening touring the South Williamstown golf course and chatting with local government and non-profit leaders.

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Pittsfield Approves Extending Tax Breaks For Beacon Cinema

It was in 1997 when Downtown Pittsfield Inc. revealed a downtown master plan which called for a movie theater on North Street. City officials and DPI went searching high and low for a developer, from big chains to independent operators with little luck. Eventually they found Richard Stanley, who ran the Triplex in Great Barrington, and he too wanted nothing to do with the project.

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Cheshire Planning Board Holds Off on Dollar General Permit

The Planning Board tabled a vote on Dollar General's special permit request on Tuesday and told the chain store to go back to the drawing board. Austin Turner with Bohler Engineering, the firm representing the discount chain store, provided the board with more specifications on the proposed store at a public hearing Monday.

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North Adams Sells Former Sewage Plant Land to Redwood Developers

A plan that started out as the redevelopment of an old motel on State Road has transformed into a much more expansive vision. The Beyond Place LLC, developers of the Redwood Motel on State Road, have been snapping up parcels including the Blackinton Mill along and across the Hoosic River, with the latest being several landlocked lots owned by the city.

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Lanesborough Looks To Raise Retirees' Share of Health Insurance

Town officials are looking to increase the percentage retirees pay in health care as a way to save the town money. The Board of Selectmen peppered attorney Adam Dupere with questions Monday night about Supreme Court rulings which give municipalities the ability to change the split without re-negotiations or a vote at town meeting.

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North Adams Council Approves Tax Agreement for Greylock Works

The City Council on Tuesday approved a tax incremental financing agreement for Greylock Works LLC that will give the project some property tax relief during the development of the former Cariddi Mill. Owners Salvatore Perry and Karla Rothstein intend to transform the 240,000 square foot State Road mill into a business incubator focused on food production, a restaurant and event space and a hotel. A final phase for residential is not considered part of the TIF.

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BRPC Supports Efforts to Designate 'Bicycle Route 7' Through Berkshires

Long-distance cyclists may soon be directed to bike through the Berkshires. The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials are developing a massive highway system designation throughout the country for long-distance bicyclists to map out routes. What is eyed as US Bicycle Route 7 is eyed to connect Connecticut with Vermont. It's connecting regions and states much like the highway system," said Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Senior Planner Emily Lindsey.

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Economic Future Being Planned for Pittsfield's Tyler Street

Could Tyler Street become the city's food mecca? That's one idea for the Morningside neighborhood. Planning and architecture firm Elan is transitioning from the fact-finding stage to developing actual strategies and goals for redevelopment in Tyler Street.

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Williamstown Economic Development Committee Submits Final Report

"There needs to be a plan to follow up to ensure these recommendations are being realized." — Jeffrey Thomas

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Williamstown Economic Development Committee Finalizes Report

"It's incumbent on [the board] to make sure this effort gets pushed forward." — Selectman Hugh Daley

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BRPC: $815 Million Invested In Berkshire County Since 2012

"I expect that to be underestimated because that is just the stuff we know." mdash; Brian Domina

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Williamstown Economic Development Committee Looks at Regional Efforts

"One of the starting points for us is to think about where we are with the commercial districts and where we see them in the future." — Jason Hoch

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Williamstown Economic Development Committee Finalizes Draft Report

The committee will host a community forum to garner responses on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Williams Inn.

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