Major tenant opens in new business park
Friday May 4, 2012
PITTSFIELD -- The first major tenant in the long history of the William Stanley Business Park of the Berkshires has officially opened for business.
MountainOne Financial Partners has opened its new financial center on a two-acre parcel in the business park that overlooks Silver Lake. Personnel from the four entities of the North Adams-based holding company that are slated to occupy the 6,850-square-foot, single-floor structure began to move in last week.
The $2 million modern-industrial style building, located on the corner of East Street and Silver Lake Boulevard, houses 25 employees from four MountainOne companies: Hoosac Bank; True North Financial Services; the Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance Agency; and Stevenson & Co.
Founded in 2002, MountainOne has assets of $800 million and 225 total employees at 14 locations in Massachusetts and Vermont.
"Everyone is kind of getting into their offices, making sure the furniture fits their needs, checking what's on the walls," said MountainOne spokeswoman Liz Bissell.
"This is the period where we kind of settle in," she said.
Some small interior improvements are still taking place, and design work around the building's ATM machine, which opened on April 27, has yet to be completed.
But it is expected that everything will be in place by the time the building's official public opening ceremony takes place on Monday, June 11, said MountainOne's President and CEO Steven G. Crowe.
With the exception of the Western Massachusetts Elec tric Co.'s solar panel facility, MountainOne is the first tenant the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority has brought to the Stanley Business Park in PEDA's 14-year history. PEDA is the quasi-public agency charged with developing the 52-acre business park that is located on the site of General Electric's former power transformer facility.
Other potential business park projects have fallen apart prior to construction, but the MountainOne initiative came together quickly.
MountainOne first an nounced that it planned to move to the Stanley Business Park in late April last year, and the official groundbreaking ceremony didn't take place until Aug. 8. The building received its certificate of occupancy from the city of Pittsfield on April 1, said PEDA's executive director Cory Thurston.
"It's gratifying," Thurston said. "We knew that the heavy lifting and work would be in actually getting the documents signed and the construction under way. After that was done, for the most part everyone exceeded expectations on both ends.
"They set an aggressive goal and they made it," he said. "It's an example I hope to others that it could get done. ... The negotiations took longer than the actual construction."
Crowe credited the project's swift completion to the building's developer, Eric Taylor.
"He really knows how to run a project," Crowe said.
Employees who have already moved into the building say they are happy with their new surroundings. The structure has large windows and mostly open ceilings.
"It's really almost breathtaking, if you will," said Diane Wojick, a commercial accounts manager at Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins. "It sounds a little crazy, but the light in here is just fabulous. The environment is bright and cheerful."
Having all four companies located in the same structure has reduced the time it takes to complete tasks, she said. "Before you had to make a phone call," Wojick said. "Now you can just get up and walk over."
"I love this building," said Deana Post, a personal account manager at Stevenson & Co. "It's beautiful and so wide open."
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