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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 Planners Say No To Eliminating Pot Growth In Residential Zones

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Community Development Board recommended a modified zoning amendment to the City Council that would not eliminate outdoor marijuana cultivation in residential areas but limit it.
 
The board reached the compromise amendment Tuesday that would allow outdoor marijuana cultivation in residential districts as long as they are 500 feet away from homes.
 
"After much thought I cannot support totally removing cultivation from these zones," board member Floriana Fitzgerald said. "I think this would be more balanced and a good compromise to have."
 
The Community Development Board continued the hearing last month that stemmed from a petition put forth by Councilor at Large Earl Persip that would essentially eliminate outdoor marijuana cultivation in residential districts.
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