Monday February 11, 2013

LENOX -- The Lenox entrepreneur who last fall purchased two of the three closed Burger King restaurants in the area recently sold two high-profile commercial properties that contain eateries on Church Street.

Through his real estate investment company, Church Street Holdings LLC, Jason P. Berger sold property at 34 Church St. and 65 Church St. for a combined $2.45 million, according to documents on file at the Middle Berkshire Registry of Deeds in Pittsfield.

Berger sold 65 Church St., which sold for $1.7 million, houses six residential spaces and four businesses, including the Church Street Café, Weaver’s Fancy, Concepts of Art and Past & Future Antiques, according to Berger. The property at 34 Church St., which sold for $750,000, houses Alta Restaurant and Wine Bar.

The Church Street Cafe and Alta are both owned by the Lenox Restaurant Group.

In November, Berger purchased the former Burger King restaurants on First Street in Pittsfield and Route 7 in Lenox at a foreclosure auction for a combined $1.53 million. He has since secured a franchise agreement for both restaurants with Stan Pauluaskas of Worthington, who operates 10 other Burger King restaurants in the Pioneer Valley and Connecticut. Both eateries are expected to re-open as Burger Kings by April.

Last month, Church Street Holdings LLC obtained a $605,563 mortgage on the Lenox Burger King property with Hoosac Bank, according to documents on file at the Registry.


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The Lenox property also includes a Laundromat.

The parcel at 34 Church St. was purchased by Ferrelle LLC, managed by Aurlien Telle, Alta’s general manager, and Molly B. Ferioli.

In 2012, Ferrelle Realty obtained a 20-year lease on that property that includes an option for an additional 10-year term, according to documents on file at the registry.

The lot at 65 Church St. was purchased by Robert J. and Leslie Murray of Stockbridge, who moved to the Berkshires in August from the New York City area. Both Berger and Robert Murray said the sale of the lot at 65 Church St. will not affect the ownership of any of the businesses that are located on that parcel.

Murray, who owned property in Rye, N.Y. before moving to the Berkshires, said he bought the parcel as an investment because he wanted to own property closer to his new home.

"It’s fully leased out right now," Murray said. "I’m trying to improve the property a little bit and will continue managing it."

Berger had owned the lot at 65 Church St. for close to 10 years.

"They made an offer that I thought was a good deal for me and the buyer," Berger said, referring to the lot at 65 Church St. "There was no underlying reason (why it was sold). It was a good fit.

"The property was not on the market, nor did I have the intention of selling it," he said. "But it seemed to work for both of us. I have a number of other things going on."

Sales of commercial property in Berkshire County jumped by 75 percent in 2012 as 42 units were sold in 2012 compared to 24 the year before, according to the Berkshire County Board of Realtors.

Lenox is part of Southern Berkshire, where 19 commercial properties were sold last year, the highest total among the county’s three regions, according to the Board of Realtors. Only nine commercial properties were sold in Southern Berkshire in 2011.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
TDobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com
(413) 496-6224