PEDA Executive Director Corydon Thurston said he hopes to have a lease agreement signed by the middle of next year.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Action Ambulance is looking to be the second tenant of the William Stanley Business Park and with that adding 36 or so new jobs.
The ambulance company announced on Thursday that it is planning to build a 17,000 square-foot regional headquarters on the former General Electric land. The company has signed a letter of intent with the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority and will begin working with the architectural engineering firm EDM and lawyers to iron out the details.
The building is expected to house the company's office spaces, crew quarters and a 10,000 square-foot garage for the ambulances. But the biggest aspect of the new building is a community room that will be used for health and training classes as well as be host to meetings for local organizations, according to Michael Woronka, CEO of Action Ambulance.
"Our vision here, in terms of using this location from a business perspective, is to make a facility and to also welcome the community, to be able to offer community classes and offerings to the community in a way that people have not seen in the past," Woronka said Thursday morning.
The ambulance company moved to the city in 2011 and employs 31 people and has four ambulances. With the new headquarters, the company hopes to double its size.
"We're bringing good jobs to the city," Woronka said. "We're expecting our size to double."
After the former polluted General Electric land was cleaned, PEDA is now trying to fill the plots with businesses.
The 1.3-acre lot east of Woodlawn Avenue and fronting East Street was chosen because it has access to the major roads. It would not have been chosen if the state Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and GE had not approved transferring control of the Woodlawn Avenue bridge to PEDA. That bridge links East Street with Kellogg Street and is expected to be replaced so the road can be reopened.
"The important component to do with this site is the bridge. With PEDA taking control of the bridge allowed us access to north and south in an expedient manner," Woronka said. "Us being able to move forward with this was contingent on the bridge reconstruction projects."
The PEDA board accepted the letter on Wednesday and will now negotiate a land lease, according to PEDA Executive Director Corydon Thurston. The lease is expected to be signed in the early to middle part of next year. While the letter of intent does not promise construction will happen, city officials said they are "100 percent" confident it will.
"We're going to make it work," Thurston said.
Mayor James Ruberto said having an ambulance service, as well as possibly relocating the police station, in the Morningside neighborhood gives a "sign" to other possible investors that the city is serious about improving that area.
The company becomes the second tenant in the remediated brownsfield. The first tenant, MountainOne Financial Partners, expects to complete construction on its new financial center in March. Western Massachusetts Electric also has one of the largest solar arrays in the region there.
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