Pittsfield's Site 9 Work Going to Bid This Season
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Work is expected to begin on Site 9 this winter, depending on weather.
Edward Weagle, principal geologist at Roux Associates reported on Wednesday to PEDA plans to award the $10 million redevelopment to a successful bidder in October. The concrete slab and foundations left from the former buildings can begin to be cracked up and crushed during the winter if there is not too much snow, he said.
The Pittsfield Economic Development Authority also went into executive session to discuss a real estate opportunity on the site.
"We're very excited. This is a huge milestone for us," member Michael Matthews said, adding that it will create a lot of positive energy around the park.
Site 9 has been called a "scar" and described as looking like the surface of the moon by Mayor Linda Tyer. The 16-acre parcel at the corner of Woodlawn Avenue and Tyler Street Extension previously housed a General Electric factory and is the largest and most prominent section of the William Stanley Business Park.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the gap in funding for the $10.8 million redevelopment has been closed. The last of the funding includes $400,000 of PEDA foundation funds, $1.3 million in GE landscaping funds, and $4.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
A drilling assessment to accommodate streets and utilities within the redevelopment proposal still needs to be completed.
As part of the work being done on Site 9, about 25,000 cubic yards will be hauled from Site 7 as fill for the property, which will open the other parcel that sits across from the former PEDA office.
"These are the remnants of the buildings that were on Site 7 and 8," Weagle explained. "These buildings were characterized and the worst parts of the buildings will be hauled off-site."
The material is expected to be moved in the late winter or early spring.
"There is a lingering agreement between PEDA and GE that PEDA is going to move this pile," Weagle reported.
"When we ask, they're gonna move it on their nickel so right now we're trying to work out an arrangement where we get this stuff moved over, sort of as we need it. That way, we're not sort of pushing it around us while we're trying to deal with Site 9."
Currently, Site 8 is not characterized for a commercial standard because it is a concrete slab and is not ideal for developers to build on but Site 7 is said to be developable.
The reality is that no geotechnical engineer will offer liability insurance for someone else's building on top of a foundation they did not design and don't know how it was built, Weagle said.
This was the problem with Site 9, as over the years many companies have come to look at it but were overwhelmed with the amount of prep work that would be needed for development.
Necessary prep work includes pulling off the foundation, cracking and crushing it, putting the material down in a controlled manner, bringing over the stockpile, and installing roadways and utilities. This also includes the installation of clean soil and geotextile fabric over the entire site.
"That way when folks come in to redevelop, what they'll have left to do is they'll need to characterize from where we left utilities in the street up to their building and then they'll need to characterize their building foundation," Weagle explained.
"So that sort of removes all that characterization for utilities that would need to run out all the way to Woodlawn [Avenue] or Tyler [Street] to help reduce those costs and uncertainty associated with those costs."
PEDA went into executive session to discuss a possible opportunity on Site 9 with the feeling that it would be "detrimental to the organization and expose some of the confidentiality of the prospect," Matthews explained.
During the meeting, it was also reported that there is a regional firm interested in Site 3N, a local company interested in Site 4, and a national firm interested in Site 7 and Site 8.
On Site 4, plans are being generated to build a 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot building for a local company. After getting a total development cost, the plan is to approach MassDevelopment to see if there are grants available for the endeavor.
Tags: business park, PEDA,