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Architect John Barry describes the renovations.
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A conceptual drawing of the building after renovations.

Former Royal Cleaners in Pittsfield Now Eyed For Marijuana Business

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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The building at 68 Dalton Ave. has been vacant for years and was slated to be demolished.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Royal Cleaners is now eyed to be repurposed for a marijuana retail, cultivation, and manufacturing company.
 
The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a special permit for EOS Farm LLC to operate there. The plan is to use the majority of the building for cultivation and manufacturing of marijuana products and then use 600 square feet of frontage for retail.
 
"There are plantings along the front and the side to hide the residential property," said architect John Barry.
 
The company will be leasing from Raymond Frenkel, who also own and lease the adjacent residential properties. Engineer Brent White said an evergreen screen will be installed on the property boundary to separate the two uses. 
 
White added that the curb cut on Dalton Avenue will be removed and Harvard Street will be where the customers enter. The store hopes to be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. 
 
"I think it is a good use of a structure that has been sitting there for a couple of years," said ZBA member John Fitzgerald.
 
The board and a neighbor raised questions about odors and conditioned the permit so that if the odor becomes an issue, the company will have to come back before the board with a solution. 
 
The building had been most recently eyed to be demolished and Dunkin' Donuts planned to build a new restaurant there. The ZBA had granted that permit in 2017 but the plans never moved forward -- ending a political saga between city officials and the company. 
 
The Zoning Board has had steady interest in cannibis companies looking to open up shop since Massachusetts voters approved recreational sales. About 10 or so retailers have been approved, a half dozen or so cultivators have been approved, and two manufacturers have been approved on the local level.
 
However, despite the interest, only one entity is currently selling recreationally. Temescal Wellness on West Housatonic Street is the only recreational dispensary in Pittsfield right now and Berkshire Roots is expected to become the second soon, as it received its final permit from the state last month.
 
A number of other entities have shown interest but haven't moved forward with applications. A proposal for the former Countywide Rental building on Dalton Avenue was intended to become a dispensary but on Wednesday the ZBA accepted Pittsfield Investment Group's withdrawal.

Tags: ZBA,   marijuana,   tyler street,   

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Berkshire County Kids' Place Gala Celebrates Courage

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Michael Supranowicz was presented with the Founders Award. He was president of the Kids' Place board for two years and retired from Hillcrest Educational Centers. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The "Wizard of Oz's" the Cowardly Lion finds his courage by facing his fears with the help of his friends. 
 
"Like the Lion, many children just need someone to help them realize that the courage they need to heal from the abuse they have suffered is already inside of them," said Rosemarie  Phelps, chairman of the Berkshire County Kids' Place Board of Directors. "For 26 years, the Kids' Place has helped lead these children and their families down the path to recovery."
 
The path on Friday night was a yellow brick road to "A Night in the Emerald City," the theme for these year's fundraising gala for the nonprofit that was held at Country Club of Pittsfield. Phelps donned a purple witch's hat to welcome guests to the event that also included recognition of several individuals for their work for Kids' Place. 
 
Berkshire County Kids' Place has been providing a safe and healing place for abused children for more than a quarter century. The agency is funded through the state Department of Children and Families, grants and donations. It works closely with related agencies and the Berkshire County district attorney's office to serve the more than 400 children that pass through its doors each year. 
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