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Artist rendering of Bentley Apartments by Craig Okerstrom-Lang. There will be 45 affordable units ranging from one to three bedrooms.

Construction Begins on Great Barrington Affordable Housing Project

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Site work has started at 100 Bridge St. with the anticipation of the first apartments opening in 2021.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A 45-unit affordable housing project on the old New England Log Homes site is moving forward now that financing is in place for the $17.2 million project.
 
The state's Department of Housing and Community Development has awarded approximately $15.4 million in funding to Community Development Corp. of South Berkshire for Bentley Apartments at 100 Bridge St. These funds will provide the final financing for the affordable apartments while simultaneously remediating the entire eight-acre site along the Housatonic River. Construction is expected to begin in late spring or early summer of 2019.
 
The Community Development Corp. of South Berkshire is working with co-sponsor/developer Berkshire Housing Development Corp. to bring the project to fruition.
 
The project provides 45 new affordable apartments for families with incomes of up to approximately $53,000, in the core of downtown. Construction has commenced with the site work for the initial building. Apartments will be available by late spring 2021.  
 
The closing signifies the completion of the complex funding process from 14 separate local, state, federal and private funding sources including: DHCD, MassHousing / Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Great Barrington Community Preservation Funds, Berkshire Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank Boston, Redstone Equity Partners, TD Bank, Dorfman Capital, and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corp. 
 
"This was a very complicated closing, given the challenges of the site," said Timothy Geller, CDCSB executive director. "We are especially grateful to Mass DHCD for their commitment and support through this process."
 
Bentley Apartments is designed to meet the growing challenge of affordable housing that faces 40 percent of the working families in the Southern Berkshires, and helps address the slowing regional economic growth. The 45 apartments include 12 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units, and 11 three-bedroom units, with universal wheelchair access. The project also includes a one-acre restored riverfront walk along the Housatonic.
 
"Bentley Apartments exemplifies community-centered, low-carbon-footprint development," said Timothy Geller, CDCSB executive director. "It provides high quality, extremely energy-efficient units with walkable access to jobs, services, shopping, cultural amenities, Berkshire Community College, parks, houses of worship and Town Hall."
 
The Bentley project team includes: CDCSB, co-sponsor/developer and management agent Berkshire Housing Development Corp, MBL Housing and Development, Dietz & Company Architects, Foresight Land Services, Furrow Engineering, Stockman and Associates, Saloomey Construction, site contractor DR Billings and the legal team of Nolan Sheehan Patten, LLP of Boston.
 
The CDCSB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating job opportunities, promoting economic development, and building low-moderate income housing in the southern Berkshires. In collaboration with other local organizations, CDCSB has helped build over 60 affordable housing units, leveraged more than $36 million in private and public funding for South Berkshire County and has a current development pipeline of 114 new affordable housing units.
 
As a nonprofit organization, CDCSB actively seeks support for its many ongoing projects and programs. To make a donation or for further information about CDCSB, visit cdcsb.org or call 413-528-7788.
 
Berkshire Housing Development Corp. brings to this project its successful, more than 45-year history of creating and improving the quality of life for the people of Berkshire County through the creation of affordable housing, property management, and community development. Berkshire Housing has created more than 950 units of quality affordable rental units across the county, constructed and sold 110 homes for first-time homebuyers and renovated over 1,000 homes for low-income homeowners throughout the county and southern Vermont. BHDC also administers rental and housing assistance programs for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Through its subsidiary Berkshire Housing Services Inc., it manages more than 815 homes and apartments.

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Pignatelli Wants Override of Regs Keeping State News Off Cable

LEE, Mass. — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli is asking the state's congressional representatives to push for an emergency override that will bring Massachusetts news to the Berkshires as the state addresses the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
 
The letter to U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal asks for an override or modification of the Federal Communication Commission's outdated regulations that place the farthest west county of Massachusetts in the New York Capital District's "Designated Market Area." 
 
"Governor Baker declared a state of emergency earlier this week in response to the coronavirus. The most recent reports as of [Friday, have a] total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Commonwealth at 18," the 4th Berkshire representative states. "Further, there are 123 confirmed and presumptive positive cases to the virus, nine of which are confirmed to be in Berkshire County. 
 
"Despite this, most communities in the Berkshires and throughout Western Massachusetts are still limited in their ability to access local Massachusetts news stations."
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