NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Steeple City Plaza was sold last month to a Connecticut realty company for $2 million.
NRT Realty LLC of Avon, Conn., closed on the parcel on April 28, according to records at the Registry of Deeds. The manager is identified as N. Robert Trigg of Avon; a phone number listed for Trigg was not in service.
Thomas Krens had indicated interest in purchasing the former the Kmart plaza as a site for his Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum. The offices for the proposed museum are located on the Main Street side of the L-shaped mall.
The potential for using that location had been part of a presentation to downtown business owners and the mayor more than a year ago but it's not clear if that is still in the works. EMRCAM had initially been planned for Western Gateway Heritage State Park and there had been talk about it shifting southward toward the old Sons of Italy and the now closed Apkin scrapyard.
The more than 7-acre site on Main Street includes the L-shaped mall along Main and American Legion Drive and the former 93,000 square-foot Kmart building, which currently houses V&V liquors, a Rent a Center and a Planet Fitness.
First Hartford Realty of Manchester, Conn., bought the plaza in 2005 for $10.58 million, three years after Kmart had closed its operations there. The realty company deals in commercial development, shopping centers and multifamily housing.
First Hartford brought in a number of stores to fill the vacant department store, including Peebles, Olympic Sports, a small Sears store and Staples. The company's owner Neil Ellis had been interested in commercial development of North Adams since urban renewal in the late 1960s.
Over the past decade, Staples moved out and the liquor store moved in, Peebles was briefly replaced by a Gordmans that closed in 2020 only a few months after opening, Olympia and Sears shuttered and the North Adams Cinemas closed earlier this year. Ellis had kept the movie theater afloat for years after it moved into the east end of the building.
The L-shaped mall has had a number of tenant changes over the years and it currently houses longtime tenant Papa Gino's, a dollar store, Label Shopper, T-Mobile and an H-R Block. A Greylock Federal Credit Union drive-up and Burger King are located in separate buildings.
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