NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Norad Mill continues to fill up with businesses, with owner David Moresi calculating the 100,000 square-foot building will be three-quarters full by the beginning of next
"We're getting there," Moresi told the Planning Board on Monday after it approved six businesses and a site plan. "Honestly, our goal, and we're on target, is by Jan. 1 is to be about 75-80 percent."
The local real estate developer purchased the former Excelsior Mill from Crane & Co. this past spring for $47,500 with the object of revamping the mill to service small and medium-sized businesses that need room to grow. He expected to come to the board with more in the coming months.
Two of the businesses approved for the mill on Monday started in other Moresi structures.
Developer Finance Corp., which moved into Moresi's Wall-Streeter mill on Union Street is splitting off one section of the company that will move into the 60 Roberts Drive building. The corporation finances land developements and time-share companies and will move into existing offices in the mill once they are updated.
The Union Street office will remain, said Moresi, quipping "We've gotten two for one."
Glen and Cheryl DeMarsico, who have been making wine in the below Grazie's Ristorante in Moresi's Mulcare Block on Marshall Street, are moving to bigger quarters on Roberts Drive.
Demarsico's Wine Cellar, which operates on an agricultural license, will offer an expanded production area and a retail wine-tasting area.
Moresi said the couple is formulating the look of the space with his designer, saying he expects it "will have that cook millish/rustic feel to it."
Also approved for the mill was Peter Egazarian's Northeast Golf Performance Inc. The Taconic Golf Club coach plans to "develop a world-class indoor training facility" for use by appointment.
"I'm really excited about what Dave has for space," he said.
And finally, 32-year-old Berkshire Photovoltaic Services Inc. will operate a professional office and storage space in the building, said company President Christopher Derby Kilfoyle.
The board also approved applications by Rocko Minerals and Cold Spring Coffee Roasters first heard last month but delayed over concerns of conflicts of interest by three members of the board when they learned during the hearing that their employer, Berkshire Health Systems, was renting storage space in the mill.
Without a quorum, the hearings had to be postponed a month. In the meantime, Chairman Michael Leary, media relations director for BHS, contacted the state Ethics Commission.
In a statement read into the record on Monday by Vice Chairman Paul Hopkins, also an employee of BHS, and acting in the absent Leary's stead, the opinion of the commission was that there was no apparent conflict.
The three board members, including Larry Taft, were asked to file state forms with the city disclosing their relationship with the tenant and the issues involved, which they said has been done. Taft and Hopkins both voted to approve the list of Norad tenants and the site plan that was reviewed last month.
Also approved was a slight relocation of Miner Combat and Zumba in the Berkshires, which has been operating at 69 Union St. The fitness companies are operated by Caleb B. Miner and Becky M. Miner.
Becky Miner explained that they would be moving next door, to 85 Union St., because they are subletting from J Star Gymnastics, which needs more room. Both locations are owned by Scarafoni Associates.
"We're looking to move to the building next door, it does need to be renovated. They're just using it for storage," she said. "We want to open the top floor to move our existing business and in the future, hopefully, to take over the first floor to provide more equipment that people can come in and use during certain hours.
"Right now we just offer fitness classes."
Miner said the signs would stay in place on the front but people would enter through back, where the parking lot is. There was an expectation, she said, that the building connected to the sold Windsor Mill would be razed for more parking some time in the future.
There was a question of the gravel parking lot that had been targeted for paving, according to plans filed with the Planning Board, said Building Inspector William Meranti. The planners were appreciative of the work done on the former auto dealership but thought someone from Scarafoni could answer questions as to the parking lot.
A change from Family Dollar at the Artery Arcade to Dollar General was also approved. Hopkins questioned the green sign, noting that signage on the shopping center had been traditionally red, but other planners had no issue with it.
"The owners seem to be fine with it," Meranti said.
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