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Mausert Block Construction Expected to Resume Soon

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
04:10PM / Saturday, August 09, 2014
Updated 12:35PM
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The Mausert Block may be cleared for construction to continue in the next week or so.

Updated Aug. 10  to correct some information and add in comments from REDPM's Stephen Stenson.

ADAMS, Mass. — Building Commissioner Don Fitzgerald said work should proceed on the Mausert Block within few weeks.

Fitzgerald said the historical building being renovated on Park Start should have its "Stop Work" order removed as soon as all the needed paperwork has been filed.

"I think all is good and within a week or so we should be back up in running," he said.

Fitzgerald said work was halted on the project nearly a month ago because the paperwork needed for inspection was not in the file. Without the proper paperwork, he cannot conduct the proper inspection.

"Until we get it squared away. we really can't proceed because it is hard to track what is being done and how it is going to be done without proper documentation," Fitzgerald said.

The building is owned by Braytonville Properties LLC and is being developed by REDPM.

"We are likely to re-start the project the week of the 18th once we submit the last of the paperwork and receive the final sign off from the town," Stephen Stenson of REDPM, responding by email Sunday, wrote.

About 18 documents were missing from town files, causing the confusion on the inspection and scope of the project, said Stenson.

"Ninety percent of all the things that weren't submitted are pretty much there, and I am only waiting on a couple of odds and ends," Fitzgerald said. "There is lots of love and everything is good."

The building inspector has been "very helpful and constructive" in navigating the papwork confusion, said Stenson, as well as the state building inspector.

An incorrect designation in the initial permit would have "triggered several financially busting construction expenses," he said, but working Fitzgerald, the project was able to get back on track.  

"Preserving the historical nature of the building and the nature of the mixed use makes it a complicated design and renovation but at the end of the day as a result of Commissioner Fitzgerald's input, it will be a safer building."  

Exterior work was considered mostly completed last fall and the goal had initially to open the restaurants on the ground floor this summer. When completed, the renovated building is supposed to contain 11 apartments along with stores and restaurants. Fitzgerald said because the building will be used for so many things, it is a much more difficult process to inspect.

"There is a great deal of responsibility for oversight on a property like this because it is mixed use," Fitzpatrick said. "It is going to be residential upstairs; people are going to be living and sleeping there, and we are going to have restaurants and stores downstairs so in a mixed-use building there are a lot of things to pay attention to."

Adams residents have shown concern over the project and its multiple delays. The town itself has invested $125,000 in the project to fix the building's facade.

Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said during the last Selectmen's meeting that the town is still focused on getting the project done.

"We have some skin in the game … and our intention from day one of this project was to get it done," Butler said. "Obviously it wasn't our intention to slow the project down, but at the same time we have an obligation as a municipality to make sure things are done the proper way."

Butler said although the project seems lofty, it should be a great addition to down town Adams and will be completed in time.

"Our hope, as it has been all along, is it get that building renovated and get some store fronts open," he said.

Stenson described it as "a pioneer development" and the largest in the downtown since the renovation of Berkshire Mill No. 1 in 1987.

"It is a flagship project and will make a major contribution to the vitality of our downtown and also potentially spur the completion of other significant developments along Park Street."


Tags: building inspector,   Mausert Block,   permitting,   

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