An illustration of what the proposed boutique hotel might look like.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday will be asked to approve the sale of the former Notre Dame Church and School for $253,000.
The church property was one of four parcels put out to bid in July. Mayor Thomas Bernard is asking that the council authorize him to enter into a purchase-and-sales agreement with The Square Office LLC.
The Square Office, owned by Emily Daunis and Dan Wallis of North Adams proposes to construct an $18.5 million, 64-room hotel with a connected walkway between the church and school. The couple had run the former Papyri Books, a family business on Eagle Street a decade ago. The Square Office has designed a number of exhibitions, including the "One Country, One Game: A Celebration of Baseball" on Main Street this summer.
Notre Dame Church closed in 2005 and the then 130-year-old parish's sacred objects and relics ceremoniously moved to what had been St. Francis' Church. The long-closed school, which was leased by the city back in the 1960s and early '70s for its fifth and sixth grades, had more recently been home to the Church Outreach to Youth Center program.
The city bought the East Main Street property in 2008 largely to preserve the church steeple, a distinctive presence on the city's skyline, for $500,000 from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield. The rectory was sold for $220,000 to the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Foundation for its alumni office but plans to sell the church to the Contemporary Artists Center (of which Daunis was president at the time) and the school to Arch Street Development of Needham for housing fell through.
An appraiser hired by the city several years ago had put a value of $605,000 on the slightly over an acre plot with its 1889 brick church and 1807 three-story school. A request for proposals for the property was issued last year but received no bids.
Last year, councilors forcefully rejected a bid on the 2.55-acre salt shed at $50,000 from John Duquette Jr. of Berkshire County Construction because it was so far below the $125,000 appraisal. This year, the mayor is asking the Ashland Street property be sold to B&B Micro Manufacturing for $75,000.
The tiny home manufacturer had stated at a Lever Inc. event a couple weeks ago that it was ramping up production and running out of room at its base in the Windsor Mill.
There were no requests for proposals on the vacant Sullivan School and Pownal, Vt., watershed that were also put out to bid at the same time.
In other business, the City Council will also be asked to transfer $44,044.31 from the parking meter reserve account to purchase a 2018 Ford Utlity Police Interceptor as part of a regular fleet replenishment. The city had looked into purchasing a hybrid but the first hybrids in that model will not be available until at least the 2020 model year.
The mayor will also be submitting several appointments for approval and updating the council on the status of a crosswalk that had been proposed for Bradley and Church streets several years ago.
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Swish, Lifting Standards Win Giorgi League Championships
By Rick DuteauiBerkshires.com Sports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The John Giorgi Summer Basketball Men’s League closed out its summer season in perfect dramatic fashion on Wednesday night, needing overtime to determine the victor in the A Division championship game played at Giorgi Court at Noel Field.
Lifting Standards pulled away with the overtime victory over Flynn & Dagnoli/Kingsbread by a final score of 56-53. Swish earned a 53-41 victory over Fortitude Strength and Conditioning in the B Division final, played earlier in the evening.
Keiland Cross sealed the win with a pair of free throws with just 12 seconds remaining to cap off a big night and a big summer season for the A Division MVP. Cross had all of his points in the second half and finished with a team-high 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Cam Stockton also had a big night with 11 points for Lifting Standards. Stockton helped to swing momentum after he drained a 3-pointer and, after Flynn & Dagnoli’s Lawrence Carrier answered back with a layup that tied things back up, Stockton went off glass for the bucket that put his team ahead for good.
This art installation, although originally intended for the Ashuwillticook Trail, was placed at the Natural Bridge State Park here in North Adams where it has remained for the past 15 years.
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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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The street's seen significant improvements over the past decade with public/private investment such as building renovations, the Clark Biscuit residential project and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' new facilities building.
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