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The Gordman's sign is still up on the largely empty department store building off Main Street. A realty company has purchased the entire plaza for $2 million.

Former Kmart Plaza Sold to Connecticut Realty Company

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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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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Mass MoCA Commission Approves Mental Health Practices as Tenants

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Mass MoCA Commission on Thursday approved three new tenants for Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. 
 
Kimma Stark, project manager at the museum, gave the commission the rundown on each of the new tenants. 
 
Eric Beeman is a licensed mental health counselor who uses art in his therapy. He holds a master's degree in expressive arts and arts therapy from Lesley University, where he's also taught graduate-level practices and principles of expressive art therapy.
 
He integrates creative arts based interventions into his clinical work including drawing painting, poetry, writing, brief drama and roleplay, movement and sound. Beeman works one-on-one and with small groups and said he mostly works with adults. 
 
He will be operating as Berkshires Expressive Arts Therapy on the third floor of Building 1. 
 
Beeman said Stark has been very helpful. "It's different than just renting a space and she's been very helpful and personable and accessible," he said. 
 
Mary Wilkes, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist, works with individuals with severe mental illness, with attachment and relationship issues and needing support navigating major life transitions. She works with teenagers, college and students and adults. 
 
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