Developer puts a colorful spin on North Adams condominium


Photo Gallery | Eric Rudd develops 'colorful' North Adams condos

NORTH ADAMS -- Vinyl siding doesn't usually look like that.

And that is kind of the point, says local artist and real estate developer Eric Rudd.

The three-story, multi-family building on High Street, which Rudd purchased in 2000, has taken on a new look recently as part of its redevelopment: It's multicolored.

After a number of delays due to credit market instability and other priorities, Rudd is re-focusing on the building, and he wanted to make the siding a little more eye-catching.

He took three shades of siding and mixed them up -- creating a somewhat randomized result with gray, white and light brown panels interspersed all the way around the building. The colors are muted, but the mix still makes it fairly vibrant.

"It's like giving a fine old lady a new dress," Rudd said. "Why do a plain gray vinyl house in this arty town -- it doesn't make any sense."

Since it is visible from much of the downtown area, the new siding treatment contributes to its near-landmark status. Rudd hopes others will see the unique treatment and start thinking in new and interesting ways to spruce up other properties around town.

"If life can't be interesting, then why do it?" he wondered.

The mid-19th century building, with completion of units starting in October, will feature seven luxury condos, With three of them split-level, one of which already has been sold, they offer panoramic views of the downtown and surrounding mountains.

"It's as close as you can get without being right on Main Street," Rudd noted.

The location is just a short walk to Mass MOCA or the downtown restaurants, galleries and stores.

"This town has everything," Rudd said. "It is a terrific place to live."

Rudd noted that by the time the project is done, he will have invested close to $1 million. He bought the structure in 2000 for $30,000 and has since restored all the wiring, mechanicals and structural elements.

"Everything is new," he said.

Prices for the condos range from $75,000 to $165,000. Rudd will hold back on some of the finishing touches, such as the flooring and appliances, to allow the purchasers to choose materials and colors for themselves. Rudd is also offering 100 percent financing for each unit.

Tom and Cathy Ralys, owners of the Lickety Split Cafe at Mass MOCA, were the first buyers. They went for the two-story penthouse unit and are planning to move in October.

Tom Ralys said they liked the exterior treatment right away

"It fits right in with the mood of the city right now," he noted.

And the views are stunning, Ralys added,

"From the living room and the bedroom upstairs, it feels like you're sitting right on top of Main Street," he said. "It's also very close to where we work. There is a lot about it that is going to be great."

To reach Scott Stafford:,
or (413) 663-3741, ext. 227.
On Twitter: @BESStafford.


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