PITTSFIELD, Mass. — PEDA is hoping MassDevelopment will help make it easier to redevelop the parcel known as the "40s" through a grant program.
The Pittsfield Economic Development Authority gave Executive Director Corydon Thurston approval to proceed with MassDevelopment's Site Readiness Program. The program would bring engineers in to perform a detailed, technical look at the foundation on the parcel along Kellogg Street so any developer has a clear understanding of what it can and cannot do there.
"It brings it up another notch so then when the guy comes, his engineers don't have to do that. That's already done. They can say with confidence, yes I can build it here, yes I can up this size of a building, it can hold this kind of weight," Thurston said.
Engineers who have already looked it have said certain-sized buildings can be constructed. But, they wouldn't sign off on that statement unless more detailed reviews were finished. Thurston hopes this program will take those advanced engineering requirements away, and the parcel will essentially have a blueprint for utility service and the foundation work.
"We are going to spend the money on really analyzing the foundation that exists to ensure that what we can build there, what costs will be involved to cap that foundation if necessary to level it off," Thurston said.
The engineers, if approved by MassDevelopment, would take core samples and ground penetrating radar to scope out and identify the condition of the foundation. The 3.2-acre parcel is really the one with a foundation to examine. The other, known as the teens, is already being looked at by the developers of a planned Walmart Supercenter. That project remains hung up at the corporate level, as Waterstone Realty waits for approval of the design from Walmart's headquarters to proceed with permitting.
If for some reason the plan never comes to fruition, Thurston said PEDA would have access to the engineering work the company has already performed. The rest of the sites don't have slabs in place and PEDA knows the conditions of the ground.
The 40s site is of particular interest right now because PEDA has been talking with a manufacturing company for the location. The unnamed company would be looking to build there and use the rail line.
"There are two companies that have expressed interest in it but the big manufacturer we have been courting is still the prime," Thurston said.
If the property does get leased or sold, PEDA and the city would have to pay MassDevelopment back the $75,000 used for the readiness work.
"We will be obligated to pay it back some day, either long term with no interest or with a lump sum," Thurston said.
In a separate grant application, PEDA is looking to make improvements along that rail line. Both the rail line and the site readiness pieces can be transferable to any other potential suitor in the future if the current company doesn't pan out.
PEDA Board member Michael Filpi asked if the manufacturing prospect could be one large enough that incentive packages, like the one put together when PEDA was looking to bring a rail car manufacturer to the site, would be possible. Thurston said absolutely, and that he's already offered it on vague terms. But, until the company actually decides whether or not the William Stanley Business Park will be the location, Thurston can't develop what an incentive package would look like.
"Those are on the table in a generic way," Thurston said.
With that grant process in the works, PEDA officials are optimistic that this summer could be big for them. The Walmart project is in a waiting game, and PEDA officials expressed confidence that it will still go forward. More optimism is shown in securing the additional funds needed for with Gov. Charlie Baker's new $500 million investment in life sciences.
"This year could be a huge year if these thing connect," Thurston said.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
Comments are closed for this article. If you would like to contribute information on this article, e-mail us at info@iBerkshires.com
Hinsdale Man To Compete In Professional BBQ Competition
Rinaldi with Myron Mixon, celebrity chef and four-time barbecue World Champion.
HINSDALE, Mass. — Professional barbecue teams from all over New England will compete at the Harpoon BBQ Festival in Windsor, Vt., on July 27-28, with hopes of being crowned the grand champion and earning a ticket to the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue.
And Berkshire County's own George Rinaldi will be among them.
Rinaldi, 54, of Hinsdale, has been competing on the professional Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned circuit for eight years. He and his family travel to six or seven competitions annually. They've been all over New England, as well as in New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas. At a typical event, competitors must deliver their entries in four categories (chicken, ribs, pork and brisket) to the master judges by pre-specified times — and not a second later.
Rinaldi's skills have earned many trophies, including a first-place prize for his Ribs Division win at a recent competition in New Jersey.
When two men came whipping into the city with police on their tail in March, residents didn't see Pittsfield Police officers hanging out the window shooting their guns off trying to blow out the tires. That only happens in movies.
In fact, residents didn't see Pittsfield Police on the suspect's... click for more
In other business, the Berkshire Innovation Center is on pace for an October opening. The research and development center broke ground in September and now has a new executive director on board in Ben Sosne.
click for more
Keep it simple.
That's what Edward Carmel believes. But he doesn't believe the current City Council is doing that. He feels the council spins its wheels tinkering with things and not accomplishing anything. click for more
Dina Guiel Lampiasi believes there is room for compromise even if it doesn't seem that way.
Lampiasi is seeking to fill the Ward 6 City Council seat being vacated by John Krol. She feels she brings a collaborative approach and a deep understanding of how government works to the table. click for more