Ephorium, Newsroom Both Leaving Williamstown's Spring Street

By Stephen DravisWilliamstown Correspondent
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Ephporium, which opened in 2005, is closing its doors.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — For the second time in a week, a Spring Street retailer has announced it is closing its doors for good.

Last week, news broke that the Newsroom would fold on May 31. This week, the nearby Ephporium Spring Street Market posted a sign letting its customers know it is leaving after eight years.

The common denominator: Both businesses are tenants of Williams College. But a college spokesperson said the two closures are unrelated.

"Spring Street is going through a time of change, but it's had many times of change," Williams Assistant to the President for Public Affairs James Kolesar said on Tuesday. "It's been almost continual change for many years. If you saw (Williamstown Historical Museum Vice President) Rita Watson's talk a few months ago, it was incredible the amount of change. Even I was amazed, and I've lived here for 30 years.

"It's the nature of small businesses that there's a fair amount of evolution over time. Spring Street is certainly evolving."

The Newsroom traced its lineage to the 1890s. The Ephporium operated for just eight years, but as the sign on the door notes, its location has housed a store for 168 years.

"Thank you for your patronage," the sign reads. "We have enjoyed tempting you with our cookies and sandwiches for the past eight years. Our lease is up and the store will be closing soon."

News reports last week cited a letter to Newsroom customers that blamed an "18-month lease dispute" for the business' eviction. Messages to Ephporium owner Huff Templeton by email and at the store were unreturned late Tuesday afternoon.

Kolesar declined to comment on the reasons for either business closing, saying the college should not talk about private business transactions.

"The college tries to break even on its commercial real estate holdings," Kolesar said. "That hasn't changed."

Williams has about 30,000 square feet of commercial real estate, predominantly on Spring Street, Kolesar said.

As for the future of either location, it is too soon to say what businesses might fill the voids.

"The college is in conversation with a number of entities to go into those spaces," Kolesar said. "Nothing is decided."

Tags: spring street,   store closings,   

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Williamstown Gathers Community Input on Street Lights

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

Stephanie Boyd helps lead Wednesday's session.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — About two dozen residents Wednesday turned out for a forum to discuss plans to replace the town's street lighting with more energy efficient LED fixtures.
The consensus that emerged from the listening session was pretty clear: Those in attendance want to see a lighting plan that utilizes warmer temperature fixtures and reduces spillover lighting.
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The town is at a crossroads when it comes to how public roads are illuminated.
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