NORTH ADAMS — By beautifying the outside of the Greylock Mill, developers Karla Rothstein and Salvatore Perry hope people will better see the potential inside.
A $1.72 million MassWorks grant for Greylock Works and the city of North Adams will help make that happen.
Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash was on hand Monday to announce the award, which will help to complete the landscaping and parking improvements that began last year with a $2.18 million MassWorks grant in 2016.
"A milestone like this is crucial to the ongoing success of the project," Rothstein said.
The 240,000-square-foot mill is little more than two years into a renovation process that hopes to see the former industrial site converted into a mixture of food production, residential, hotel and restaurant space.
Thus far, the interior renovation and construction at the mill has focused on the Weave Shed, the eastern-most portion of the facility. Greylock Works hopes to bring in food producers and has already begun to host events in its event space, including the Festive holiday market that will feature more than 60 vendors on Saturday.
"I think about this space all the time because I get to drive around the state all the time and I see these hulking, old buildings that are just hovering over neighborhoods, blighting the communities," Ash told Rothstein and Perry. "I wish I could bring you to each one of them."
The project encompasses everything the administration tries to do through the Massworks program, Ash added, noting the site already has received nearly $7 million in private investment.
"The city and region have already seen dividends from this project," he said.
Rothstein said the grant will "help increase the momentum we've worked so hard to build."
The work completed with the previous round of funding includes clearing and redoing landscaping around the perimeter of the facility on the eastern and southern portions of the property. The work greatly increased the visibility and pedestrian flow between the mill and nearby Alcombright Athletic Complex.
With the new round of funding, that work will continue in the same fashion on the western portion of the complex.
"The way that transforms the perception of the building is extremely important. When it was untended, when the grounds were untended, I think it was harder for people to see how beautiful the buildings really are in terms of their underlying architecture," Rothstein said. "Now it looks clear and clean ... it's becoming much more easily appreciated."
State Sen. Adam Hinds D-Pittsfield, said the project is emblematic of the trends of development along the Route 2 corridor in North Adams.
"We're already seeing the fruits of that labor and the potential that's on the horizon is tremendous," he said.
Michael Nuvallie, the city's director of community development, has worked in the field for 33 years.
"Adaptive reuse projects are the toughest ones to do, but they can be the most rewarding," Nuvallie said.
Reach staff writer Adam Shanks at email@example.com, @EagleAdamShanks and 413-496-6376.