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The plan includes 35 cabins, 19 mirror houses, nine Airstreams and nine regular camping sites.

Adams Selectmen Approve Development for Greylock Glen Campsite

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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Daniel Dus, CEO of Shared Estates, presents the plan to the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday.

ADAMS, Mass. — The town has awarded the development of the campsite at Greylock Glen to Shared Estates Asset Fund, which will bring 72 rental units to the property. 

 

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the proposal from Shared Estates, tentatively titled the

"Greylock Glen Ecovillage." The plan includes 35 cabins, 19 mirror houses, nine Airstreams and nine regular camping sites. 

 

"We feel like our vision aligns closely with the town's historic vision of developing a sustainable, green and economically strong project here," Daniel Dus, CEO of Shared Estates, said before the board on Wednesday. 

 

Shared estates operate several other lodging locations in the county, including The Playhouse in Lee and The Kemble in Lenox. Dus said they expect lodging at the Glen to be in operation by late 2024. 

 

The project, Dus said, will be carbon-negative, with the units clustered together in groups to increase both green space and separation between visitors. He said the arrangement will allow the site to house groups as large as 25 and as small as one. 

 

"We've recommended changes primarily based on the change that we've seen happen in the sort of COVID and post-COVID world, where folks don't necessarily want to see their neighbors and be very close to others. They want to have a real sense of privacy," he said. "We feel that the Glen's greatest asset is its beautiful, natural value. And so we really want to preserve that in our vision as much as possible."

 

Dus said Shared Estates plans to work with community businesses to create a local vendor list in Adams for guests to access. Additionally, the project includes a community equity crowdfunding process, which will let local contributors have some ownership of the site, as well as a local entrepreneurship program. 

 

"Shared Estates itself, we expect, will contribute 20 percent of the equity to the project and roughly 80 percent will come from this equity crowdfunding process," he said. "It's the only way that we know of, the only mechanism we know where the community will, literally, be able to own a piece of this project. We expect probably between 500 and 1000 investors in this project over the span of the next 18 months." 

 

Board Chair John Duval called the project great, noting that it will help fulfill the aspirations the town has always had for the Glen.

 

"There was always this vision that, after the Outdoor Center was built, the other entities up there would be of private investment, and this is the first step," he said. 

 

Donna Cesan, the town's special projects coordinator who has been involved with the Glen project since the beginning, said she looks forward to working with the Shared Estates team to create something at the Glen. 

 

"I have to say that this proposal by Shared Estates, to me, reflects back the town's vision and the promise that the Glen has held for all these years," she said. "I'm extremely excited."

 

Selectman Joseph Nowak said his history with the project goes back to his time on the Conservation Commission and working at the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (at the time, the Department of Environmental Management). He said he likes the plan, but thinks there will be other issues the town will have to deal with, such as parking infrastructure and overcrowding on the trails. 

 

"We have an aging infrastructure in Adams, and we're doing things now that we don't know how they're going to work out," he said. "... In short, I love your plan. Great representative, I think you got what it takes in what you want to do. But talk is difficult, it has to be shown in work." 

 

Board Vice Chair Christine Hoyt said the plan is a combination of all the major reasons people come to visit and live in the county. 

 

"The reason people are coming to the Berkshires is for, number one, outdoor recreation; number two, our cultural institutions; and the third is, really, our hospitality industry, our lodging properties," she said. "What's exciting about this is you've tied all of the items that bring people to the Berkshires, and you've proposed it to be in Adams." 

 

In other business, the board ratified Rebecca Furgeson as assistant director of community development. Furgeson, who was previously a project manager for the department, is primarily a title change, as recently discussed at the board's personnel subcommittee.

 

"We are building a good team, and she's an asset to the town," Town Administrator Jay Green said about Furgeson's work in the Community Development department. 

 

Also related to discussions at that meeting, the board appointed Elias Masse as a part-time administrative assistant for Inspectional Services.


Tags: Greylock Glen,   

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