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North Adams Developer Has Plans for Mohawk Tavern Building

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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The Mulcare Block will be undergoing a renovation over the next year that will include short-term furnished apartments upstairs and a restaurant and rehabbed Mohawk Tavern downstairs.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Mohawk Tavern is back in the Moresi family after more than four decades.

"My grandfather started the Mohawk in North Adams back in like 1933 and this is the last location for it," said David Moresi last week, standing in the empty barroom on Marshall Street. "A little bump in the road here and it will be back up and running."

Moresi, operating as Moresi Commercial Investment LLC, closed on the Mulcare Block on April 10 for $370,000 after submitting the winning bid at its foreclosure auction late last year.

His family had owned the 1913 building at 22-30 Marshall until selling it 43 years ago.

Signs placed in the windows last week hint at the plans Moresi has for the century-old block.

But he's taking his time to make sure everything's done right. He expects to begin work on the building this summer with anticipation of having it in operation by next spring.

"We're gathering a team to make this a total 100 percent redevelopment ... a viable redevelopment," Moresi said.

While there will be a more formal announcement of details of the development in the coming months, the local real estate developer shared some of his vision for the century-old building.

There will be a "significant investment" in the exterior and upgrades to the building's heating and electrical systems. The structure itself is in good condition, he said.

It will, of course, include a refurbishment of the Mohawk that will retain its vintage "charm" while updating and freshening its interior.

That includes refinishing the woodwork, repairing the glass panes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, installing a new bar and adding a second bathroom.

The barroom will be linked to a new restaurant that will take over the space most recently operated by Rub, the barbecue place that closed nearly three years ago.

The six units in the upper floors will be completely renovated as short-term, furnished corporate apartments, with in-house services.

Moresi said the short-term housing is something his company has been invested in for awhile. The bar and restaurant, however, will require the right proprietors.

"It's a new concept where we have the ability to work with the proprietor of this entity, which will be the Mohawk Tavern," he said. "We're going to work cooperatively with the same deal with the restaurant."  

He's already been speaking with possible operators to ensure the businesses are successful.

"We're going to be very selective and very particular," Moresi said. "Everybody wants to own a bar."

His intent to have a restaurant that's "longstanding" and that will attract patrons of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art year after year.  

"This is a phenomenal location, a phenomenal building," he said of the corner spot across from the museum. "This will, hopefully, be the missing link that will draw people from Mass MoCA to Main Street."

Tags: commercial buildings,   commercial development,   Real Estate,   restaurants,   

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By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

The council spent some time debating the reappointment of Paul Hopkins to the Redevelopment Authority.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A normally routine reappointment turned into an extended and sometimes heated debate at Tuesday's City Council meeting. 
Mayor Thomas Bernard had recommended City Councilor Paul Hopkins be reappointed to the Redevelopment Authority, of which he has been chairman for at least a decade and a member since 2001.
But Councilor Marie T. Harpin objected that the administration didn't seem to be working to diversify the makeup of its boards and commissions. Two members had been members since 2001 and a third since 2006. 
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