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The Pittsfield Economic Development Authority is expected a grand opening of the innovation center in January.

Innovation Center on Schedule For January Opening

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Innovation Center is still on schedule to open sometime in January.
 
The center's Executive Director Ben Sosne gave a brief update to the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority last week and said board should expect a grand opening in the first half of January.  
 
"I was just through the building and it looks fantastic," he said on Tuesday. "I am really excited to get this thing open and welcome everybody in."
 
He said in the next few months they will be moving in tenants and figuring out final specs.
 
"Like painting and lighting and everything that is going in," he said.
 
Sosne said he recently met with representatives of Electro Magnetic Applications Inc., which announced last month that the company intended to open a testing center in the BIC once it opens.
 
The aerospace company plans to leverage $140,000 from the city's Economic Development Fund to build a space environment testing chamber. The city must approve this request along with a special tax agreement.
 
Sosne said they are still squaring away where EMA will be located in the BIC but anticipates it will use up about 400 to 500 square feet.
 
He added that, optimally, EMA will outgrow the BIC in a few years and relocate to a bigger location in the city. 
 
Having companies in the BIC such as EMA helps build a network within the building that makes it attractive to others, he said.
 
"We are going to open a brand-new beautiful building that we are going to see and enjoy but the strength of the BIC will always be about its members," Sosne said. "The experience there having a place where they are all collaborating."
 
In other business, Pittsfield Business Development Manager Michael Coakley said PEDA, the city, and Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corp. have hired a consultant to build a business development website. 
 
"This site will really be for anyone who wants to do business in Pittsfield whether they want to start a business, grow an existing business, or if they want to relocate here like Wayfair," he said.
 
He said they hope to have it complete around November. 

Tags: berkshire innovation center,   BIC,   PEDA,   

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Pittsfield Council Leaves Springside Pump Track Proposal to Parks Commission

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday grappled with the idea of taking on the Springside Park pump track proposal but ultimately, the majority decided that it is under the jurisdiction of the Parks Commission.
 
A petition from Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Maffuccio requesting to hold a public forum on the potential project was not passed.
 
A motion to have a Committee of the Whole meeting so that opposers and supporters can address the council failed 6-4 followed by a motion to approve a public hearing at the next City Council meeting, which failed 7-3.
 
Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Morandi, Ward 4 Councilor Chris Connell, and Maffuccio were the only ones to support the petition in its final vote.
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