North Adams mayor says developer 'still very interested' in Windsor Mill

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NORTH ADAMS — City officials remain confident a deal will be struck to sell the Windsor Mill.

The city chose architect Simeon Bruner's Cambridge Development Corp. out of two bidders for the historic mill on 121 Union Street last July, and the two parties remain in negotiations after environmental testing.

"We met with the developer last week and they're still very interested in moving forward," Mayor Thomas Bernard told The Eagle.

Ideally, the two parties will close on the deal by the beginning of the next fiscal year, according to Bernard. "if we can get the questions that we have on both sides answered."

Standing in the way are a "couple legal issues" that remain between the city and Cambridge-based developer, Bernard said, declining to elaborate on their nature until they are resolved.

The developer has shared the findings of their preliminary environmental testing, Bernard said, which have shown "nothing that they're seeing as deal breakers."

Despite being the lower offer of the two bids, former Mayor Richard Alcombright and the City Council signed off on Cambridge Development's $465,000 offer largely due to his resume.

The city turned down a $500,000 offer from the same New York-based investor who bought the Porter and Tower building on Eagle Street last year and the Dowlin Block on Main Street earlier in 2017.

In his proposal, Bruner outlined a vision for the 19th-century mill as multi-use facility that includes arts-focused small businesses, artist live/work space, and rental lofts.

Bruner is known for his renovations of mills, including the Piano Craft Guild in Boston and the Woolen Mill in Vermont.

He also helped spearhead the renovation of the former Sprague Electric Co. complex into what is now the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Last year, The Architect's Newspaper declared Bruner's redesign of Mass MoCA's building six as the "Building of the Year: Northeast."

Adam Shanks can be reached at ashanks@berkshireeagle.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.


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