Plans for upscale hotel on Pittsfield's North Street submitted to city


PITTSFIELD -- An upscale 50-room hotel has been proposed for two connected brick buildings extending from 273 to 297 North St.

Called Hotel on North in site plan information submitted to the city by MM&D, LLC, it will include "an eclectic mix of furnishings and appointments to reflect its heritage as an iconic late 19th century department store in the center of Pittsfield's downtown re-birth," according to the application materials.

Referred to as a non-chain "boutique hotel," it would encompass 68,160 square feet of building space, while two restaurants at the street level -- now Mad Jack's and Spice Dragon -- are expected to remain.

Property owners Laurie and David Tierney declined to comment about the project, but they plan a press conference on Feb. 4, when the project is on the agenda for a Community Development Board meeting. The board will consider a special permit.

City Planner C.J. Hoss said the developers have been involved in discussions with the Community Development office for several months. He said the location generally fits requirements for the business zone and arts overlay district, but parking and other aspects will require review.

The hotel, Hoss said, is potentially "a great project for the downtown."

Parking plans call for 41 spaces at the rear of the buildings and the use of additional off-site parking, which could be available in downtown parking lots or parking garages.

The developers also seek a marquee over the entrance, extending out eight feet and requiring relocation of a light pole.

The number of required parking spaces was reduced for a former owner in 2004 from 250 to 39. The developer now is asking the city to require only 41 spaces, located in the parking lot to the rear of the building. Off-site parking is being considered at unspecified locations, according to the proposal.

And the plan calls for a four-parking-space zone in front to allow the hotel to offer valet parking. City Council approval will be required to create a zone.

According to the application, MM&D is applying for state and federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits to help finance the renovations.

"All efforts will be made to maintain and improve the historic character of the premises, and at the same develop a sophisticated destination on North Street," the developers stated.

The Besse Clark department store was located in the 273 North building for many years. It was purchased by the MM&D in December 2012 for $1.35 million.


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