The First Street building was constructed in 1915.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A greenhouse initiative is eyed for a 98-year-old First Street building.
Blueline Design Inc. and the Tyler Street Business Group are now seeking public interest in a Community Greenhouse Project in the former Eagles Club on First Street. The plan is to create both educational and commercial programs encouraging urban agriculture.
Owner and architect Anthony Barnaba of Blueline says he has filed for a building permit and hopes to have the project up and running in about a year. He is currently reaching out to businesses and non-profit groups to partner in the food purchases and sale as well as educational services.
"Ideally we'd like for it to stand alone on the business side," Barnaba said on Thursday morning, adding that he doesn't want the project to hinge on public monies.
The greenhouse will grow food and sell it to businesses and organizations to continue the operations while the greenhouse will be maintained through providing internship or other educational programs. Barnaba says he will be renovating the area that currently houses bowling lanes to create the greenhouse.
"Its a nice-sized program," Barnaba said of the size. "It will be just enough to get it rolling."
Eventually Barnaba says the Community Greenhouse will narrow its focus to growing a single crop but at this point, he isn't what sure what that will be. He is hoping interested businesses and organizations will help direct that.
"We want to see who may participate," he said. "I'm getting the building permit in place now ... we're working out a business plan."
The building currently houses two commercial spaces, one used by Barnaba's Blueline Design and the other, vacant. The building used to house the Elizabeth Freeman Center and Barnaba purchased it in 2007. Since then, he has been trying to redevelop the 1915 building.
With this idea, the Tyler Street Business Group has signed on to help the project. The group formed to promote economic development in the Morningside neighborhood.
Barnaba says he hopes to fill the commercial spaces as well, believing the community garden could help attract companies.
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