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The green Holiday Inn sign will be coming down once the downtown hotel changes hands later this month.

Realty Group Outlines Plans for North Adams Holiday Inn

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Colin Kane of Peregrine Group and Sarah Eustis of Main Street Hospitality share their vision for the North Adams hotel with the City Council on Tuesday.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Holiday Inn is about to undergo a transformation and a name change. 
Colin Kane, founding partner of Peregrine Group, and Sarah Eustis of Main Street Hospitality Group gave the City Council the rundown on Monday on their plans for the 50-year-old property.
Tenants in the Main Street structure had been aware of a pending sale for some time. Kane said he anticipated a closing shortly after Thanksgiving and about a year of renovations to modernize the 1974 building.
"We have been working here now on acquiring the hotel across the street for the past seven or eight months. And we have been overwhelmingly impressed by the warm welcome that we have received from government officials," he said.
"We're not taking it super upscale. There are plenty of really strong upscale offerings in this market ... It's really important for this community to have an affordable option if you're visiting MCLA, if you have a sports team playing here, if your folks are visiting."
The 90-room Holiday Inn on the corner of Main Street was purchased in 2009 for $2.925 million by Larkin Realty of Burlington, Vt. It had operated in past years as the North Adams Inn and had opened as a Sheraton.
Kane said it will now operate independently as "Hotel DownStreet."
The plans include removing the office structure built onto the back in the 1980s and reorienting the main entrance back to that location so it faces the parking lot. After the offices were constructed, the entrance was moved to face American Legion Drive. 
The property will also be landscaped, the exterior brightened and the largely dormant storefronts activated make the property safer and more accessible for guests and the community.
"We don't expect our retail component of the hotel to drive our economics. In fact, we expect to subsidize to a large degree, those sort of activating storefront uses," he said.
The biggest change will be in the dated interior, which Kane jokingly described as "Miami Vice" by way of Milwaukee. Efforts will be made to keep the hotel open during the renovation.
Peregrine is a 20-year-old real estate adviser and property management company. Its portfolio includes the public/private 43-unit residential Parkside on Adams & Historic Substation in Boston and the Newport Yachting Center in Rhode Island. 
Main Street Hospitality manages a number of hotels including, locally, the Red Lion Inn, Porches, Hotel on North, and Briarcliff Hotel. Eustis, the CEO, said conversations with the Holiday Inn management began nearly three years ago.
"When we speak about positioning we mean the identity, the level of service, the quality of what happens inside the hotel, and we always want that value proposition to be very much in balance," she said. "So it is our intention to be sure that this property remains accessible from a price standpoint, but that we upgrade the guest experience with the quality interiors and and great hospitality which already exists in uptown."
Eustis said there was a great team and general manager already in place and felt her group could provide more support than Burlington and create synergies with Porches around the corner.
"We're excited because we can provide them with more of a network, more support, more development, and more of a network for their professional careers, which is really what we like to do," she said.
Kane acknowledged this will mean current tenants will have to move but said Peregrine will work with them. The dermatologist will have to find licensed space so the hotel will be patient with that, he said, and it is likely that the North Adams Museum of History and Science will have to move. 
"We very much embrace what they do as an organization. We'll take advantage of the opportunity to integrate many of the things that they have archived into the design elements of the hotel," he said but will not be able to accommodate the full collection. "We're hopeful that we can have a presence in the building but today they occupy 5,500 square feet .. and that doesn't necessarily activate that front door."
He said Peregrine has pledged to help "resource their move."
Kane was also asked about the concrete blocks that had been put in place to prevent traffic access to City Hall under the Hadley Overpass, a long used shortcut. He had been told that there had been a safety issue for hotel patrons crossing the parking lot but he said he would work with the city to see if could be safely reopened.
Peregrine wanted to work with the community, he said earlier in the presentation.
 "We are not here to tell the city of North Adams what to do. We're here to listen to the city of North Adams and try to deliver on what the city would like to have happen, what the community would like to have happen," he said.

Tags: motels, hotels,   

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Bird, Gittens Spark Second-Half Rally for MCLA Men

MCLA Sports Information
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- MCLA's Hayden Bird and Quentin Gittens combined for 32 second half points as the Trailblazer men's basketball team pulled away from visiting NVU-Lyndon 91-74 this evening in non conference play.
The win for MCLA (4-5) marked its second straight triumph. The Hornets drop to 1-5 overall.
Both teams traded runs in the opening half and MCLA led by double digits early. The Hornets fought back however and trail just 42-41 at halftime. Drury alum Bird and Taconic gradate Gittens were relatively quiet in the opening half combining for just 7 points on 1-for-5 shooting.
The second half was a different story.
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