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A sign on V&V in North Adams early Tuesday states that it's "closed for good" two weeks after the plaza was sold to a real estate development firm.

Steeple City Plaza Sold for $1.75M; V&V Liquors Closes

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Steeple City Liquors, also known as V&V, closed abruptly Monday night two weeks after the plaza it's in was sold. 
The store, which was promoting its products over the weekend for Super Bowl Sunday, made the announcement on Facebook on Tuesday morning and a sign on the door stated that it was "closed for good."
"The staff would like to thank each and every patron for the ever lasting memories that were created," read the post.
The new owner of the shopping center says the decision to close the business was made by First Hartford Realty, the former owner of the former Kmart plaza, which had been operating the liquor store since its opening in 2014. 
Daniel Hannoush, managing partner of DDM Property Group of West Springfield, said he did not anticipate any immediate changes with the other tenants.
"We want tenants, we want to build the center up and bring some life back there," he said on Tuesday. "We have some great tenants that are there right now."
He's hoping to expand and attract new tenants to the property and said he's had some interest. There are several empty spots in the building including the 17,000-square-foot space where Peebles had been. 
"We're in talks with a couple national tenants in regards to the larger vacancy there," he said. "We really need someone for the movie theater space ... maybe performing arts ... Something that the community can enjoy and use." 
Hannoush said DDM Property Group operates a number of retail centers and single-tenant buildings in Western Mass, Connecticut and New Hampshire but this is its first holding in North Berkshire. 
North Adams Realty LLC closed on the property on Feb. 1 for $1.75 million. In 2023 the Steeple City Plaza, which formerly housed Kmart, was sold to NRT Realty LLC of Avon, Conn. for $2 million. 
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. 
The entire property is assessed at $5.6 million; the former Super Kmart was built in 1993 (replacing a smaller one) and the L-shaped mall in 1981. The construction came after the south side of Main Street was torn down for urban renewal in the 1960s and '70s. 
First Hartford Realty of Manchester, Conn., bought the plaza in 2005 for $10.58 million, three years after Kmart had closed its operations there. It brought in a number of stores to fill the vacant department store, including Peebles, Olympic Sports, the cinema that had been on Curran Highway, a small Sears store and Staples.
The company's owner Neil Ellis, who has since retired, owned the liquor store and had pledged to keep the cinemas open when several previous operators failed. The cinema closed in January 2023. 
V&V's opening in what had been the Staples had sparked a liquor license kerfuffle a decade ago in the city when Ellis had sought a home-rule petition to grant an extra retail liquor license. The issue was settled somewhat when liquor store was able to transfer an existing license.
V&V paid for its annual retail liquor license in January and the License Board has not received any information about its closure or the status of the license, said Rosemari Dickinson, board secretary. 
There was a question about gift certificates, and Steeple City Liquors noted that it would have an answer to this in the near future.  
Compete write-thru and repost at 2:11 p.m. 


Tags: closure,   land sales,   shopping center,   

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BAAMS' Monthly Studio 9 Series Features Mino Cinelu

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — On April 20, Berkshires' Academy of Advanced Musical Studies (BAAMS) will host its fourth in a series of live music concerts at Studio 9.
Saturday's performance will feature drummer, guitarist, keyboardist and singer Mino Cinelu.
Cinelu has worked with Miles Davis, Sting, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Vicente Amigo, Dizzy Gillespie, Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Pino Daniele, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Salif Keita.
Cinelu will be joined by Richard Boulger on trumpet and flugelhorn, Dario Boente on piano and keyboards, and Tony Lewis on drums and percussion.
Doors open: 6:30pm. Tickets can be purchased here.
All proceeds will help support music education at BAAMS, which provides after-school and Saturday music study, as well as a summer jazz-band day camp for students ages 10-18, of all experience levels.
Also Saturday, the BAAMS faculty presents master-class workshops for all ages, featuring Cinelu, Boulger, Boente, Lewis and bassist Nathan Peck.
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