Monday, July 30
North Adams Transcript

HANCOCK — The former top-secret radar-testing facility off Route 43 is back on the market as of this week and is still a good deal, according to Paul Harsch of Harsch Real Estate Associates.

He said six people have shown interest in using the 19,000-square-foot concrete-block building for a commercial business or an artist's residence.

"People are paying much closer attention to it, and it's finally on the road to getting sold," he said.

The property is listed at $319,500, and Harsch said he expects to close a deal over the next two months. General Electric Co. first owned the building in the early 1960s under a government contract. It was owned last by Kenneth D. Robinson III of Danbury, Conn., who wanted to create a hotel and restaurant in the building about seven years ago.

The 10-acre parcel was most recently on the market at the end of 2006 for $259,900. Harsch said he removed the property from his listings for a few months while the mortgage changed hands from Astoria Federal Mortgage Corp. of Lake Success, N.Y., to Wells Fargo. He said the facility is listed at a higher price now, partially because of the high number of bidders the property attracted last year. He said five people were interested then and had offered to pay more than the listed price.

Harsch said burglars wrenched several copper pipes from the building in early July.


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The cost of the stolen metal could be as much as $3,000, state Trooper Michael O'Neil said Thursday. He said he has identified two possible suspects but is still investigating the crime.

Harsch said the damage is relatively small, considering the renovations the building would need to be transformed into a living space or workplace. It is now protected by additional security equipment, he said.

The facility sits atop Appletree Hill and is about a one-mile drive from Route 43 along a narrow, paved road. Harsch said he would encourage artists, especially those working with large, heavy mediums, to consider the estate. The plant has several overhead crane dollies, extensive lighting and a three-phase electrical line, which leads to three, 800-amp disconnect switches in a mechanical room. Ceiling heights range between 18 and 30 feet.