The announcement was made Tuesday morning in a joint statement by Donald Keagan, president of Hoosac Bank and executive vice president and treasurer of MountainOne, and Cory Thurston, executive director of the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority, which is responsible for developing the Park.
"Since opening MountainOne Financial Center in Pittsfield in March 2010, we've experienced steady growth. We're bursting at the seams and need a much larger space to serve customers," said Keagan in the statement. "The William Stanley Business Park is a great location — we can design a facility that best suits our needs."
MountainOne Financial has assets of more than $800 million and employs more than 200. It is headquartered at Hoosac Savings Bank on Main Street in North Adams; its holdings include Williamstown Savings Bank and South Coastal Savings in the state's eastern end.
The new financial center will include offices for Hoosac Bank and the holding company's True North Financial Services and Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins insurance. Hoosac Bank will offer business and consumer lending services, as well as automated deposit services. Conference rooms will be available for all companies to utilize for internal meetings, and for meetings with customers and community officials.
Thurston, who recently took over the helm of PEDA, said, "We are very excited to have MountainOne as our lead business tenant. It's also important to note that Bill Hines, PEDA's interim director, began discussions about this project with MountainOne last year, and really deserves the credit for today's announcement."
The park is built on 52 acres of remediated brownfields once covered with the manufacturing facilities of General Electric. The first tenant on the site is the largest solar array in New England, a 1.8 megawatt photovoltaic installation of Western Massachusetts Electric Co.
PEDA officials have come under fire because of the slow pace of the park over the past decade and its difficulty in luring tenants. Mayor James Ruberto, a strong supporter of the agency and its efforts, said the park has been a "key initiative in our economic development planning" and said he was pleased with this progress.
MountainOne's facility is in the very early planning stages, and final approvals and contracts have yet to be signed. Keagan said the building's architecture will be modern and evocative of "Financial Services of the Future." It will also be designed with LEED certification in mind, which would make it the first building in Pittsfield to receive such a designation.
"MountainOne's physical presence on the site, especially with a modern and attractive new building, will spark increased interest and activity in the park," Thurston said in the statement. "We expect other companies will follow suit, and we can build on this momentum."
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I find the placement of the building interesting. With the acquisition of Legacy Banks by Berkshire Bank there will be branches that have to be shuttered (for example, where they are currently across the road from one another).
Also,the old TD Bank building on Elm Street is available.
It seems that there is value that MountainOne sees in the marketing aspect of being a tenant of the William Stanley Business Park, as opposed to the dollar value of utilizing existing infrastructure.
How are all those MountainOne people supposed to sit in offices built atop and beside two of the nation's largest chemical waste dumps and not inhale?
I'll believe this glowing excited report when those soon-to-be-Cancer-victims actually start reporting for work at their new PEDA-addressed headquarters.
Wow, what an exciting piece of economic development news! An existing Berkshire County bank building a branch in Pittsfield to compete for a bigger piece of the existing pie! A company with light manufacturing jobs expanding in the county would be real news!