LENOX — A little over a year after purchasing a landmark Walker Street building in Lenox, Mill Town Capital has acquired an adjacent 19th century structure that will become the new home of a Berkshire investment firm.
Mill Town bought the David Wolf Bishop House at 45 Walker St. for $1.2 million, according to documents filed at the Middle Berkshire Registry of Deeds. The structure had been offered at $1.35 million, according to the listing.
Renaissance Investment Group LLC of Lenox has signed a 10-year lease with Mill Town and is planning to move from the Lenox Commons on Pittsfield Road to 45 Walker St. in November.
Renaissance will occupy the main structure, a three-floor 5,500 square foot building, according to Mill Town CEO and Managing Director Tim Burke. The property also includes a smaller two-story 3,000 square foot structure with two tenants who are remaining.
A Gilded Age cottage, the David Wolf Bishop House was built in the late 1890s for use as a residence, but now houses office suites.
Mill Town, a private investment firm based at the Berkshire Innovation Center in Pittsfield, will serve as the building’s landlord and be responsible for funding property improvements, according to a news release from Renaissance. Only cosmetic improvements are expected to be made, Burke said.
His firm has made several investments in Pittsfield, including Bousquet Ski Area, which Mill Town purchased for $1.07 million in May 2020 and is now renovating and combining with two adjacent properties that it bought in December. In June, Mill Town purchased a second lodging property, the Yankee Suites Extended Stay Complex in Pittsfield, for $2.25 million.
Burke referred to the purchase of 45 Walker St. as a "strategic acquisition" for Mill Town, because it is located next door to Gateways Inn and Restaurant, the property the company bought nearby in July 2020.
Patrons of the Gateways Inn can now access Church Street by walking through the new property, he said. Mill Town purchased the inn for $1 million, then re-opened it in February following a three-month renovation.
"The acquisition was an opportunity to expand our footprint in the area and create a meaningful relationship," Burke said. “We are excited to have the team at Renaissance Investment Group as a tenant and partner.”
Founded in 2000, Renaissance provides investment management and financial counseling services.
"We have been here in the Berkshires for 20 years and Lenox is a big part of where we meet with clients and associates," said Christopher Silipigno, Renaissance Investment's CEO and managing director. "We thought that it would be such a great step in terms of our ability to meet with clients, formally and informally."
Renaissance plans to add employees after it moves to Walker Street, Silipigno said, although he is not sure how many.
"That was part of the decision," to move to Walker Street, Silipigno said. "Renaissance has doubled in size the last few years."
The David Wolf Bishop House was built by the Bishop family, which owned large estates in Lenox, and was one of two structures on Walker Street that the family put up for use as guest cottages (the other is located at 35 Walker St.) according to the Lenox Historical Society. The Bishop family gave the house to David Wolf Bishop, who never lived in it.
The property was sold in 1921 and again in 1927. The previous owner, Charles T. Schulze, bought the property in 1994 and transferred its ownership to Schulze Properties LLC in 2012.