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The Community Development Board looks over an illustration of the condominium project Westside Legends is proposing on Columbus Avenue in this screenshot from Pittsfield Community Television.
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Plans showing the layout of the five buildings that will make up the condo project.

Westside Legends Plan $5.8M Condo Project in Pittsfield

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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The Westside Legends have planned a $5.8 million condo project for first-time homebuyers in the neighborhood.

The Community Development Board on Tuesday endorsed a special permit for the construction of five new buildings on 363 Columbus Avenue.  The nonprofit organization aimed to uplift the west side of Pittsfield has proposed 16 one to three-bedroom townhouses on the vacant lot at the corner of Columbus Ave. and South John St.

“We are really hoping to be able to use some masonry on this project because there are units for homeownership, not rentals,” Architect Tessa Kelly explained.

“So we are really focusing on using the best quality materials we can and making sure that every unit has its own recognizable front door and identity on the street and also green space.”

The project was allocated $175,000 of the city’s Community Preservation Act funds during the most recent cycle.  The total cost of $5,822,200 includes $30,000 for site acquisition, about $1 million in soft costs, and nearly $4.8 million in construction costs.  Originally requesting $350,000 in CPA funds, the ask broke down into $80,000 for soft costs and $270,000 for construction.

The market price for units has not been disclosed.

Committee members applauded the effort, Chair Sheila Irvin noting “Good luck with his project. It looks really exciting for that for the neighborhood and for the city in general.”

Matthew Herzberg recognized the challenges that are faced when creatively developing a parcel for quality community housing.

“It’s exciting to see a thoughtful project come together of this nature,” he said. “I just want to commend the Westside Legends and the entire group for bringing the project forward.”

He noted that these things take time and be complicated to put together but thinks it will have “a really positive impact in the neighborhood and help spur hopefully more economic development or a home ownership in the neighborhood.”

Driveways, landscaping, off-street parking, and site lighting will be needed for the build.  Lighting must be downcast per the special permit.

After learning from Greylock Federal Credit Union that there had only been two mortgage applicants of color over the past five years,

In their CPA application, the WSL reported facilitating over 30 families of color closing on their first homes with its first-time homebuyer program, with over 40 more prequalified.  This project is supported by the state and Cambridge housing authorities.

“WSL is committed to creating quality new housing in this historically redlined neighborhood that is available for purchase, not rent,” the application reads.

Two years ago, WSL completed a project on Daniels Ave., updating a cluster of outdated homes into condos for first-time homebuyers.  Two of the first completed units were on the market for $159,999 and $169,999.  With the principal/interest at 7 percent, taxes, insurance, and a $125 homeowner association fee, the buyer's total monthly payment would be about $1,500.

 A developer has also proposed a condo project at the site of the former Polish Community Club.


Tags: condominiums,   housing,   Westside Legends,   

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PIttsfield 16s Fall in Babe Ruth Regional Final Sports
AUGUSTA, Maine -- The Norwalk, Conn., Babe Ruth 16-year-old All-Stars Tuesday beat Pittsfield, 2-0, in the championship game of the New England Regional.
It marked the second shutout loss to the Connecticut State Champions in three days for Pittsfield. But it was a very different game this time around.
On Sunday, Norwalk beat Pittsfield, 10-0, in six innings to wrap up pool play.
That forced Pittsfield to win two straight games to get a rematch in the finals, and it did so, blanking Lyndon, Vt., on Monday and edging Eastern Mass Champion Lynn on Tuesday morning.
But in the title game, Norwalk pitcher Jaxon Ermo held Pittsfield to four hits and allowed two walks while striking out six in a complete-game shutout win.
For Pittsfield, Connor Paronto and Sam Glockner split time on the mound, striking out three.
But Norwalk generated 10 hits and scored a run in the second and a run in the sixth to give Ermo the offensive support he needed.
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