Super Duper Wally World
Word is a Walmart Supercenter is headed our way. According to a report in the North Adams Transcript, the multinational retailer has filed plans at North Adams City Hall for a 160,000 square-foot building at the city's old gravel bank.
Ceruzzi Properties of Fairfield, Conn., acting as BVS 5401 Investors LLC, purchased the nearby Dellaghelfa properties at 1519 South State St. and West Road for about $2.2 million in 2007, the city's gravel pit for $700,000 in 2008, according to documents in the Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds, and the former North Adams Plaza in 2004 for $2.5 million.
Nigro Development LLC of Albany, N.Y., had originally taken out a purchase-and-sales agreement for the gravel bank, then became a silent partner with what was then Starwood Ceruzzi to develop both the gravel and the plaza. Nigro is currently believed to be out of the picture.
A Lowe's is planned for the old North Adams Plaza that's been coming down piecemeal over the past few months. The Supercenter will include groceries, electronics and expanded lawn and garden departments.
No word on what will go in the old Walmart, but the discount chain has planned aggressive growth over the next two years despite the economic downturn. In October, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it would expand globally by 14 million square feet in this fiscal year and by 11 million next year.
Most of that will be through remodels and a focus on supercenters; the corporation expects to spend upwards of $25 billion (yes, BILLION) in capital construction over the next two years.
The plans will go before the Planning Board on Dec. 14.
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October 2009 Unemployment Rates
Good news on the labor front: the state's unemployment rate continues to drop. Statewide, the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate decreased from 9.3 percent in September to 8.4 percent in October. But that's still nearly double last year's rate overall.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development also reports that unemployment rates were lower in October than in September in 20 of the state's 22 labor market areas. The Amherst, Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, Peabody and Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner areas recorded the largest over-the-month unemployment rate declines. Two areas posted seasonal unemployment rate increases: Tisbury and Nantucket County.
In North Adams, the rate dropped from 9.5 percent to 8.8 percent; last October, the rate was 5.8 percent. and the Pittsfield area saw a decline from 8.6 percent to 8 percent, compared to last October's 4.9 percent. More information can be found here.
Job gains were recorded in eight of the 12 areas for which unadjusted job estimates were published. The Boston-Cambridge-Quincy area added the most jobs and had the highest over-the-month percentage increase in jobs. Job losses were recorded in four areas. Over the year, all of the labor areas recorded increases in unemployment rates and job losses.
Statewide, the seasonally adjusted October 2009 unemployment rate, released last week, dropped from 9.3 percent in September to 8.9 percent in October and the seasonally adjusted jobs estimate for October showed 900 job losses over the month. The unadjusted unemployment rates and jobs estimates for the labor markets may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.
The November 2009 unemployment rate, labor-force data and survey of jobs for Massachusetts will be released on Dec. 17, 2009; local unemployment statistics will be released on Dec. 22.
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Old Country Store Getting New City Sister
Bill and Carrie Wright, owners of the Lenox Old Country Store, are opening a sister store, Emporium, at 431 North St. in Pittsfield. The new shop will contain much the same eclectic mix of merchandise as the Lenox store.
The grand opening celebration on Saturday, Nov. 28, will include a showing of contemporary paintings, mixed media and collage by four Pittsfield artists.The exhibition, "431/413," will feature pieces by Michael Carty, Jennifer Kimball, Edward Pelkey and Tony Sadowy. Work by all four will be available for purchase and the show will run through Dec. 31.
Opening reception will run Saturday from 7 to p.m.; regular hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 to 5, Friday and Saturday from 10 to 7 and Sunday from noon to 4. Find out more at the new blog for both stores.
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Quality Printing Buys Marketing Franchise
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Quality Printing Co. has acquired a franchise of EZ Local Savings Co., a marketing consultant focusing on small and medium-sized companies.
The franchise covers Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties, Southern Vermont and New York. Kaylin Quadrozzi Choquette, formerly a national sales consultant with Iredale Cosmetics, has been hired as sales manager.
EZ Local Savings' platform is geared toward consulting to local businesses and includes direct mail and online coupon books, e-mail and text marketing, online ordering and print services.
Local businesses place ads or coupons in the books, which are distributed, free of charge, to residential addresses within a specific area and community. Books have been mailed out in the Pittsfield area and additional books will be published in other territories in Berkshire County in 2010.
Choquette earned her bachelor of science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2003. She will handle all of Berkshire County, Southern Vermont and Rensselaer County, N.Y. For further information: 413-358-0538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Our photographer Paul snapped this shot of the heating array being installed last week for the new parking lot at Mark Paresky's Spring Street project in Williamstown. Looks like there'll be no trudging through the snow to get to the new Purple Pub - to be located on the first floor where the large doorways are.
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