The new office is in the Berkshire Plaza on Main Street.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Burnham Gold Real Estate threw a party and everybody came.
At least it seemed that way last Thursday as the real estate company was welcomed to North Adams with open arms.
"There are happenings in North Adams and we want to be a part of it," Kim Burnham said above the buzz of conversation at the office's grand opening reception. "We're hoping to bring real value back to the city, we're excited about this location."
The new office is at 33 Main St., in the Berkshire Plaza. The space was most recently being used for a gallery but has been split into two, with Burnham Gold taking over the front space looking out onto the plaza.
Kim Burnham and Rebecca Gold Cellana started the company in 2011, just a few years after the economic collapse cooled the housing market. But they had plenty of experience and confidence in North County.
Seven years later, they've opened their second location and have nine people working in the North Adams and 191 Water St., Williamstown, offices, and expect to expand by adding a couple more people. Primarily dealing in residential real estate, the agency is also moving more into commercial and land sales.
Real estate agents Erin Scott and Sarah Fleury talked up the possibilities in the city, Burnham said, and Greylock Works owners Salvatore Perry and Karla Rothstein further encouraged the move.
"North adams is going through a revitalization with everyone moving in, and tourists coming, and the mills," Fleury said. "I think this is a perfect time for us to be here and grow here ... I think North Adams is great place for real estate."
Real estate agent Seth Alden pointed to such venues as the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and the proposed model railroad museum as attractions to the area for artists and new families.
"We have a quality of life that a lot of places don't offer other than the Berkshires," he said, adding that "especially watching all these mills come back to life as apartments or different avenues of income, it's really an exciting time. I think investors and young families will start to see that more and more in this area."
Burnham said the agency wants to bring "real value" back to the city.
"I think for too long, in my opinion, the city has been undervalued and I'd like to bring some real dollars back to the sellers," she said. "There are some really great properties in this city and some of them have been overlooked, in my opinion ...
"The hardest part of this job is putting a price on the real estate and we're going to do everything in our power to bring top dollar to our sellers."
Sarah Gaffey, a community development lender at MountainOne Bank, said the real estate market is definitely on the upswing. There's been a little lull over the holidays but it's been more active in the past weeks.
She expects that to pick up more with the release of Equity Builder Program funds, part of a federal program to help qualified first-time and low-income homeowners by homes.
"We're hoping to release the Equity Builder funds at the and of March, so once those are released that helps a lot of first-time homebuyers," Gaffey said.
Burnham Gold agents say their sales have been steady and that they are working to get more properties.
"We've got a ton of buyers waiting for that inventory to come on the market," Scott said. "I think it's pretty great as far as the economy goes ... people are buying and selling."
The crowded office reception was a mix of Williamstown Chamber of Commerce members and North Adams business people and community leaders, including several city councilors and the mayor, who were on hand to welcome the city's newest business.
"I'm really impressed by the turnout, which indicates a level of support for the business in general but for also for having a real estate office down here," Mayor Thomas Bernard said. "We're starting to see more interest in housing. So having these folks with the experience they have, the team based right here, is great."
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Meranti leads the library trustees through the historic building to explain some of its issues.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Building Inspector William Meranti led a tour of the library — from basement to belvedere — last week and pointed out ongoing, new, and addressed maintenance items.
"This is a nice building but there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of different systems," he told the library trustees on Wednesday. "We have a long list of things to do and it is not getting any shorter."
With new trustees, a new library director, and a change in administration, the trustees had asked for a tour of the 1865 mansion get up to date on various issues in the historic building.
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The Berkshire Business Interns, winnowed from more than 500 applications this past spring, worked in 20 different organizations, businesses and municipalities throughout the county this summer. About two-thirds hail from the Berkshires.
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