CDCSB Purchases Former Thornwood Inn

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Community Development Corporation South Berkshire (CDCSB), a 501(c)3 non-profit located in Great Barrington has completed the purchase of the former Thornewood Inn located at 453 Stockbridge Road. 
 
The CDCSB is repurposing the property to create workforce housing for our area, with a soft opening planned in early June.
 
The purchase of this property was made possible by financial supporters including the Great Barrington Community Preservation Committee, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and CDCSB donors and friends.
 
The per unit cost of creating this housing option is about $85,000 — a fraction of the $400,000 to $500,000 cost of building new affordable housing apartments — and is an immediate boost to South County's housing inventory. 
 
"The need for more housing opportunities is obvious to anyone paying any attention and the evidence is overwhelming," said CDCSB Board President James Harwood. "Many young people and individuals are stranded between South County's high housing costs and the ability to earn enough money in local jobs to pay for rent."
 
Twenty-eight percent of all households in the United States are individuals but almost all new housing construction in rural Southern Berkshire County is designed for families, leaving a gap in options for singles and couples.
 
"Thornewood is a piece of the very complex and extremely capital-intensive puzzle to provide more housing for the people who want to live and work here," Harwood said. "Every employer in South County feels this problem."
 
"We certainly understand the problem of housing because we were no longer able to hire people due to the high cost and scarcity of housing," said CDCSB board member David Thorne, who had owned and operated the Thornewood Inn since 1983. "It's a huge issue for all employers. Doing this feels like a very good way to make a real contribution. We hope that others in our community will join us to make Thornewood a huge success." 
 
CDCSB took a multi-tiered approach to funding the property purchase, said Interim Executive Director Phillip Orenstein.
 
"The cornerstone of this multi-tiered approach is our broad-based community fundraising drive." Orenstein notes that several major employers have expressed interest in the housing units along with supplemental financial support.  
 
Applicants working in Great Barrington will receive priority access to the rooms, pursuant to agreements with the Town. Those working elsewhere in Berkshire County are also eligible. Residents must be at least 18 years of age. Smoking and pets are not permitted.
 
Eligibility for the affordable units is subject to maximum income levels. For the majority of the rooms, a single applicant's maximum annual income is approximately $71,000, which represents 100 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). For a smaller number of rooms, the single applicant's maximum annual income is approximately $85,000 (120 percent of AMI). Up to three rooms are not subject to maximum income criteria. Resident guests will need to periodically recertify their income eligibility.
 
Applicants who are interested can add their names to The Thornewood waitlist by visiting the CDCSB website at cdcsb.org or emailing their contact information to workforce@cdcsb.org. Those on the waitlist will soon receive detailed instructions on the application process. 
 
The Thornewood is located at 453 Stockbridge Road, just north of downtown Great Barrington near the intersection with Route 183. It rests on a 2.5-acre lot that was purchased in 1983 by former owner/operators David and Terry Thorne. The property was active until recently and has been well maintained over its 40-year life. 
 
Its 10,000+ square feet of usable space will eventually include 18 private rooms of varying sizes, each with a private bath. The plan is for 16 comfortable, furnished units to be available in June. An additional two rooms will be added following modest renovations that are expected to take 6–12 months.
 
The rooms are suitable for 1–2 adults and vary in size, layout, and features. All rooms have compact refrigerators and access to a shared kitchen, which is currently being renovated. There will be a 10 percent discount on monthly fees until the kitchen is available.
 
The main floor includes an additional 2,500 square feet including a commercial-grade kitchen. This area is currently being reimagined as an "Incubator Space" for possible co-working, consulting, and commercial rental opportunities. There will be more details forthcoming on this aspect of The Thornewood soon. An on-site laundry facility is available. There is ample room for parking on the property with capacity estimated at 50 cars.
 
Monthly fees range from $1,000 to $1,600 per month — depending upon square footage, special features, and income eligibility — including all utilities and high-speed internet. 
 
Pursuant to Massachusetts law, resident guests will be charged an additional 11.7 percent hotel tax for the first 90 days. This fee is refunded when and if the resident guest remains beyond this period.
 
 
 
If you would like to contribute information on this article, contact us at info@iberkshires.com.

Jacob’s Pillow Free Live Stream Series

BECKET, Mass. — Jacob's Pillow is pleased to announce the launch of a new free livestream series, Jacob's Pillow Live, which will feature nine select performances from this summer's 92nd annual international Dance Festival.

Jacob's Pillow Live will provide audiences the opportunity to tune in from anywhere in the world to enjoy live performances on the scenic outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage and in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre.

According to a press release:

Live performances will occur each week of the festival between June 22 and Aug. 24—from the celebrated repertoire of The Royal Ballet of the United Kingdom to the unique thrill of Princess Lockerooo & The Fabulous Waack Dancers—with advance online registration available. Out of the nine livestream events, five will include access to a free "Encore" stream released the following week, allowing an additional 24 hours to watch the performance on-demand.

This new series provides livestream access to arts lovers and families who are not able to travel to experience these events in person, while affording local and regional audiences more opportunities to blend at-home viewing with in-person visits to the festival this summer. Registration for these free livestreams is now open to everyone at http://jacobspillow.org/live.

"Our dance and live music events really shine because they are brimming with creative talent from around the world," said Jacob's Pillow Executive and Artistic Director Pamela Tatge. "We want to honor the fact that our visiting audience is global as well, and always has been. We are delighted to bring lovers of dance this expanded, and more flexible, series of chances to experience live performances at our festival this summer for free, no matter where they are watching from."

Livestreams will include access to Jacob's Pillow's Gala performance, as well as other  performances from inside the historic Ted Shawn Theatre—which opened in 1942 as the first performance space in America designed exclusively for dance—and from the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage.

The livestream on July 6 will bring viewers a performance by The Royal Ballet of the United Kingdom, from the Ted Shawn Theatre, on the company's sole engagement in the United States this year—and their first touring performance in the country since 2015. In addition to classical and contemporary ballet, the series will feature performances that range in styles from Afro Latin and jazz to tap, flamenco, tango, contemporary, musical theater, hip-hop, house, vogue, waacking, and Indigenous masked dance. All livestreams in this series are family-friendly, and all include English-language captioning, available in browser while viewing.

Jacob's Pillow Live comprises the following livestreams for summer 2024, in chronological order. Select livestreams also include an Encore stream, to be made available after the performance.

  • Saturday, June 22 at 6:15PM EST — Performances from the Season Opening Gala

    • From the historic Ted Shawn Theatre

    • This event will include performances by members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, pianist Craig Baldwin and dancers from the New York City Ballet, Sekou McMiller and Friends, Caleb Teicher and Conrad Tao, Soles of Duende, and a world premiere by The School at Jacob's Pillow Contemporary Ballet Program. Details at jacobspillow.org/gala.

  • Saturday, June 29 at 6PM EST — The School at Jacob's Pillow Contemporary Ballet Program

    • From the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage

  • Saturday, July 6 at 8PM EST — The Royal Ballet of the United Kingdom

    • From the historic Ted Shawn Theatre

    • Includes an Encore stream, available from 12pm on Wednesday, July 10 to 12pm on Thursday, July 11.

  • Saturday, July 13 at 6PM EST — The MasterZ at Work Dance Family

    • From the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage

    • Includes an Encore stream, available from 12pm on Wednesday, July 17 to 12pm on Thursday, July 18.

  • Thursday, July 18 at 8PM EST — Social Tango Project

    • From the historic Ted Shawn Theatre

    • Includes an Encore stream, available from 12pm on Wednesday, July 24 to 12pm on Thursday, July 25.

  • Saturday, July 20 at 6PM EST — The School at Jacob's Pillow Contemporary Program

    • From the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage

  • Saturday, July 27 at 6PM EST — Dancers of Damelahamid

    • From the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage

    • Includes an Encore stream, available from 12pm on Wednesday, July 31 to 12pm on Thursday, August 1.

  • Saturday, August 17 at 6PM EST — The School at Jacob's Pillow Musical Theatre Program

    • From the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage

  • Saturday, August 24 at 6PM EST — Princess Lockerooo & The Fabulous Waack Dancers

    • From the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage

    • Includes an Encore stream, available from 12pm on Wednesday, August 28 to 12pm on August 29.

Jacob's Pillow has been experimenting with access to online performances and livestreams for several years, explained Tatge. Building on more than a decade of online access through Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive, the Pillow took its first real steps in 2020, when health and safety concerns required pivoting to an all-digital summer festival. This work continued in 2021, when Jacob's Pillow aired an online series of streaming performances from the outdoor Leir Stage roughly two weeks after filming. In 2022 and 2023, Jacob's Pillow produced a series of performance streams that aired during the fall, winter, and spring. "As we look toward the opening of our reimagined Doris Duke Theatre in 2025," Tatge said, "we are excited to build and deepen our world of digital productions, livestreams, and interactive online events. We want to make these available to any arts lover, anywhere, who wants to see what the future of dance can look like."

 

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