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Managing Director Rebecca Brien outside Downtown Pittsfield Inc.'s new offices at 431 North St.
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Downtown Pittsfield will also be managing the co-working space, which has two large meeting rooms and smaller offices.
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The offices are in the former Jan Perry Realty location.

Downtown Pittsfield Inc. Sees Expansion, Evolution in New Office

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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Rebecca Brien is enjoying her spacious new office; her old one was so cramped there was barely room for visitors to sit. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Downtown Pittsfield Inc. has moved its offices to a larger space in the heart of downtown, making way for expansion and evolution.

Managing Director Rebecca Brien has dreamed about this space's possibilities since she first walked in. The former home of Jan Perry Realty gives DPI space for membership-strengthening classes, seminars, informational sessions, and gatherings.  

At 431 North St., it is also sandwiched between myriad downtown activity.

"The minute it even was proposed I started manifesting it," Brien said with a smile. "And it just carried on from everyone who came and looked at the space, the things that we talked about adding, and what we can do to just make it ours."

The nonprofit is now settled in about 2,000 square feet — a far cry from its former office at 33 Dunham Mall. Included in the new location are Framework co-working spaces that can be rented for short and longer-term periods.

Brien feels that DPI is a "really good match for this space." The property managers wanted to have a tenant in the front-facing storefront that could manage Framework.

"It seemed like a perfect arrangement," she said.

"Especially with our membership growing, what we're doing in terms of our work with the city in filling storefronts, grants, all of the things that we are right now exploring to give better benefits to our members. This seemed to be really the next step in the evolution of Downtown Pittsfield Inc."

The organization managing this co-working space falls within that perspective of creating foot traffic in the downtown, Brien said. DPI will also be able to promote its members and give the public a good idea of what is going on, as its programs and events have expanded "exponentially" over the past two years.

There are four semi-private offices for day or monthly rentals, a boardroom rental that holds up to 10 people, and a multi-use classroom space rental with flexible configurations that accommodates up to 20 people. Booking will begin in mid-July, and rentals will include wi-fi, with the option of a television, speaker phone, projector, and screen.

All have rates for members and non-members.

"The day rentals are going to be perfect for individuals who work from home but maybe have to have a meeting or maybe you have a big project that's going on that you need a nice little quiet space to work," Brien said.

There is a full week of events staged for the week of July 4. The First Fridays Artswalk will be held at the office on July 5 featuring vintage posters from the city’s Fourth of July parade.

Brien will be taking the reins of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade effort later this year from Mayor Peter Marchetti, a longtime member and president of the Pittsfield Parade Committee.

"We're helping to support them by selling those vintage posters for them during the event, which is great," she reported.

"We are going to be sending out invitations to a lot of the local artists we've worked with over the last two years to be able to do gallery space within our office to highlight them and promote them so that I think is a big thing for us."

Visitors will be greeted by her and Executive Administrator Arri Better as they have offices in the front room. In the rear of the space is a lounge that can hold catering and the Downtown Pittsfield Ambassadors, DPI's walking concierges.

"If you have a meeting in the large conference room, you can do a breakout in what we're calling the boardroom. This can be a breakout room as well," Brien explained from the lounge.

"Or if you're here for a full day and you want to have catering brought in, they can come in the back door, deliver right here, and not interrupt the meeting, refrigerator access, all of these things."

Formed in 1983, DPI has been the recognized leader, facilitator, and principal advocate for downtown.  It also works in partnership with the various city departments, leading to major streetscape projects, parking improvements, and marketing initiatives.

Brien explained that the front room where Jan Perry used to be is double the space of DPI's former office. 

"There were two desks, a couple of filing cabinets, and there was nowhere to sit," she said. "Every time anyone came in, I was moving things off the chair to my desk. There was no place to do projects, no place to prep for any of our events, so this is just it's an amazing process."

Earlier this year, the nonprofit welcomed Chuck Leach as its new board president. He has already been in the space trying to figure out how partnerships can be made and how they can get people to come in and use it.

A ribbon cutting and open house is planned for September.  

Tags: Downtown Pittsfield,   office space,   relocation,   

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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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