Friday May 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Discussions between the Pittsfield Econ omic Development Authority and the developer of a proposed retail complex at the William Stanley Business Park of the Berkshires are taking place, but no agreements have been reached.

Also, the prospective primary tenant that had been interested in occupying the proposed complex is no longer involved with the project, according to PEDA. That tenant was never identified publicly, but the development company is said to be in talks with others.

Neal Shalom, a principal in Waterstone Retail Develop ment of Needham, which is interested in constructing a 170,000-square-foot shopping center in the Stanley Business Park, met with the board in executive session during this week’s PEDA board meeting. Discussions concerning the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property can take place in executive session under certain conditions according to the state’s opening meeting law.

Shalom updated the board on Waterstone’s negotiations with possible other tenants for the proposed retail complex, said PEDA’s Executive Director Cory Thurston.

PEDA has signed a letter of intent to negotiate a lease with Waterstone. The proposal for the retail complex was announced in late December.

In January, Thurston said Waterstone expected to file plans with the city by late spring or early summer.

"There’s been a shift in the retail market," Thurston said. "They haven’t been able to put a proposal together for the city yet."

Although the primary prospective tenant has dropped out, Thurston said other tenants are interested in the complex, and that Waterstone is trying to "move this along" so that it will have a "solid proposal" to present to the city.

"We may or may not have a statement at some point," Thurston said. "But now, I don’t."

Waterstone’s proposal came under scrutiny because retail was not one of the original uses planned for the Stanley Business Park. Whether to add retail to the park is also still under discussion, Thurston said.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
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