North Adams Issues Request for Proposals for Mohawk Theater

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A request for proposals for the Mohawk Theater will be available on Wednesday. 
Mayor Jennifer Macksey told the City Council on Tuesday night that the RFP document will be available in the Community Development Office.
The decision on what comes next for the historical moviehouse will be more collaborative than other property sales in the past. Macksey said she would be asking for representation from the City Council on the selection committee and will gather public input. 
"Part of the rollout will be a couple of public forums. So the public can come and ask questions on creating the top two or three," she said.
The mayor had withdrawn the 1938 theater from a purchase-and-sale shortly after taking office in January. The prior administration had recommended selling the vacant property to a developer planning to transform the adjacent 103 Main St. into a hotel. 
The City Council, however, had balked when it was cut out of the decision making on the landmark property, delaying any vote until after Macksey took office. 
Macksey had pledged a more transparent process in selling the theater and  held two public meetings to solicit input from the public before reissuing the RFP. 
In response to questions, the mayor said decisions regarding how it should be advertised to led to the delay in getting the bidding documents ready. 
"We spent a lot of time contacting other theaters who have done renovation projects, other architects who have worked on theater projects, and we are advertising in some architectural digests," Macksey said. "We also have a list of people who have been in in the past that we will notify, as well as the abutters and we're advertising in some different places more geared towards art. 
"It took a little bit longer than I thought but most of it was based on how we were going to work it."
A walkthrough for potential bidders will be held on Thursday, June 5, and the bid deadline is July 1. 
The mayor said the recent state grant for the Mohawk marquee was in the amount of $189,000
"We are in the process of developing an RFP to procure an engineer," she said. "The grant is wonderful. It doesn't cover the whole project costs but some funds set aside to complete this project."
The city has invested $2,656,435 in public grants into the building  and a $600,000 loan, to be paid off this year, since taking over the theater in the late 1990s.

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