Pittsfield Cinema Center Financial Package Finalized

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Pittsfield – Mayor James M. Ruberto released details of the financial package for the long-planned downtown cinema center on Oct. 5, representing a major milestone after several years of work by leaders in state and city government, business, and many others in the community. The partnership includes a consortium of five local financial institutions, the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC), the Berkshire Legislative Delegation, Downtown, Inc., developer Richard Stanley, and the City of Pittsfield. The package includes $2,000,000 in state funding, $900,000 in Historic Tax Credits, $4,700,000 in equity through the Federal New Market Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credits, and $4,000,000 in private funding, and $1 million from the City of Pittsfield. The state of the art cinema complex, to be constructed in the historic Kinnell and Kresge buildings at 49-55 North St, will include six screens, including two stadium seating screens. The capacity of the theaters will range from 130 to 226 seats. “This is the centerpiece of our downtown revitalization and will truly bring the masses back to North Street,” said Ruberto. “It will also serve as a platform for the city to further strengthen our urban neighborhoods.” Ruberto will present a proposal to the City Council on Tuesday, October 10th, requesting $1 million in G.E. Economic Development funding to be allocated to project, which is essential for the completion of the cinema center complex. The million dollars represents a $500,000 required match to the Massachusetts Community Development Action Grant (CDAG) which was approved by the City Council on February 8, 2005; and an additional $500,000 to complete the funding required for the project. “Downtown, Inc. has worked for ten years to locate a downtown cinema developer. We have learned that the large chains are not investing in these markets. Richard Stanley is the right partner for this project,” said Michael MacDonald, past president of Downtown, Inc. and member of the Downtown, Inc. Development Committee. “Mr. Stanley could have developed this project outside the downtown for less money and a greater personal return. With the public support of the city and Berkshire legislative delegation, we can bring this project downtown.” The group of local financial institutions partnering in the financial package, making the project possible, includes Berkshire Bank, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Legacy Banks, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, and TD BankNorth.
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Pittsfield City Councilor Brings 16 Petitions to Meeting

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Newly elected Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Maffuccio started his term with a slate of 16 petitions ranging from simple municipal updates to new initiatives.
 
"They are just things that came up over the campaign trail," Maffuccio said before the City Council meeting Tuesday. "People talked to me about these things and while they are fresh in my head I'd like to put the ideas right out there." 
 
The majority of the petitions were kicked off to separate committees, subcommittees, or departments. Many that made the agenda were also routed to committees, subcommittees, or departments by Council President Peter Marchetti.
 
Maffuccio first asked the city assessor to provide a list of vacant lots and buildings and a date for public auction. This was directed to the Director of Finance Matthew Kerwood who said this list already exists and will be made available to councilors who not yet have it.
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