Planners OK Newspaper Move, Garage Rebuild
The former McClellands at 87 Main will be the new home of the Transcript — within spitball distance of iBerkshires.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Planning Board on Monday, July 11, approved special permits for the relocation of the North Adams Transcript, the reconstruction of Cariddi Auto and the expansion of Creation and Empire Antiques.
The Transcript, which is selling its building at 124 American Legion Drive to Scarafoni Associates, is moving to 87 Main St., formerly occupied by McClelland's.
The 3,000 square feet will be used for the newspaper's staff and advertising department and is expected to be occupied within the next month or two.
Guy R. Cariddi is rebuilding his auto sales and garage at 676 Curran Highway that went up in flames earlier this year. The new building will be constructed two feet south of the current site to comply with current setbacks and will be 148 square-feet larger.
"While it was a disaster for Mr. Cariddi, it will allow the building to be reconstructed to meet code," said attorney Stephen Pagnotta, representing Cariddi. "It will be a brand-new building."
The board approved a special permit for new construction in an I-1 zone, with all prior conditions in place.
Keith Bona, owner of Creations, and James Montepare, owner of Empire Antiques, are expanding into what had been Main Street Stage at 57 Main St. The two successfully combined forces last year to expand from Bona's gift shop operation at 59 Main St. into 61 Main.
"We want the signage to flow over all three [storefronts]," said Bona. "They will be big letters, molded, antique gold similar to what is currently on Shear Madness and what was prior on Moulton's General Store ... on a green background."
He said the space is currently painted all black but once done, he expected 57 Main to be the most beautiful. "It has the orginal tin ceilings, the original hardwood floors and some of the original woodwork."
They also asked for extended hours to 10 p.m. for special events and added Sunday hours of 10 to 5, although they expected to only open from 10 to 2. Regular hours are 10 to 5.
In other business:
• The board approved signage and a special permit for Public Eat and Drink at 34 Holden St. Jared Decoteau has purchased Taylor's Restaurant and plans to reopen as Public once all permits and licenses are in place.
• Kennard and Janet Sherman, who ran into objections last month about their proposal to turn a neglected property at 456 Ashland St. into a retail business, withdrew their application.
• An application by Snoford LLC to open a package store at 76 Union St. was continued.
• A request by Yaling Wang of the Sushi House at 37 Main St. to put tables on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant was approved, although the board requested she work with the Office of Community Development on the appearance of the tables and chairs. Wang said no alcohol will be served outside the restaurant.
• Reviewed the parking modifications being done by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Ashland Street. The college plans to add more green space between the lots and the street, add more lighting and remove an island between the property owned by the MCLA Foundation and the state.
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Mayor to Give Annual Report; Cariddi Resigns
The mayor will give his annual "State of the City" address at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
Mayor Richard Alcombright is expected to address opportunities for growth as well as the city's precarious financial condition.
On Monday, the mayor will join business and city leaders in announcing a new partnership between the city's business, education and cultural sectors. The economic development initiative, dubbed "The Partnership for North Adams," is being touted as a way to "propose and advance innovative community development projects and public/private partnerships."
Alcombright made the pursuit of economic opportunities, particularly hopes of drawing light industry back to the city, a centerpiece of his campaign. Those efforts have been stymied in part by the economic collapse that left the state and its communities reeling and the city's hard-hit finances.
Since his election last year, the mayor has had to raise taxes and institute a sewer fee to help cover budget shortfalls. He's expected to discuss on Tuesday night the looming budget gap of $1.2 million for the coming fiscal year - a shortfall that could grow to $3 million depending on the state's ability to fund municipal aid.
The Finance Committee will get a look a first draft of the 2012 budget on Monday afternoon.
The City Council will also take up bonding of the city's financial officers and several other matters.
The resignation of Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, will be accepted by her colleagues. Her resignation will end 20 years of service on the council as she takes up her new duties as state representative for the 1st Berkshire District. Cariddi was sworn in that State House last week.
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