Music venue, small B&B among new developments planned for North Adams

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NORTH ADAMS — April has showered the city with a spate of development proposals.

From a new music venue on Union Street to a small bed-and-breakfast on Kemp Avenue, the city has received numerous new business proposals that are set to be reviewed by the Planning Board on Monday.

In the space formerly occupied by the Museum of Dog at 55 Union St., developer Very Good Properties plans to open a new music venue with a capacity of nearly 300 guests.

The company hopes to book "touring, regional, and local acts," and have live shows nearly every day of the week after a complete renovation of the building this year, according to the narrative it submitted to the Planning Board.

The venue, called HiLo, will seek permission from the License Commission to sell beer, wine and liquor.

Agreements for parking have been made with neighboring landowners. In addition to new bathrooms inside, the plan calls for renovations to the building's exterior.

"We will be removing all of the asbestos siding that covers the building and look to return it to its original clapboard-sided exterior. After siding removal, the existing clapboard will be patched and refinished before the entire building is painted," wrote Brian Miksic, a managing partner at the company.

At 253 Kemp Ave., property owners Michael and Douglas Schiazza have requested permission to open a small B&B in a barn adjacent to their white farmhouse that overlooks the Hoosac Valley.

The building will be renovated to feature three bedroom suites and a small common lounge area.

"Aesthetically, we plan to retain a very similar look from the road, as it is a rather classic New England look," Doug Schiazza wrote to the Planning Board.

In addition to these new endeavors, major developers are marking progress with new plans.

In the wake of a plan for a restaurant that fizzled, the people behind the Tourists hotel have proposed renovating a former church on Massachusetts Avenue into an event space and catering kitchen.

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Since opening last year, the hotel has received numerous requests to use the property for events like weddings and corporate retreats, according to its Planning Board application.

"The one amenity we are lacking is an indoor space for a larger dinner, meeting, or celebration," the narrative states.

That's where the former Our Lady of the Incarnation Church — it no longer is active and has since been occupied by businesses — comes into play. Under the hotel's plans, the building's steeple will be removed, its street-facing side will be "refreshed," and the south side will be deck and new windows that take advantage of mountain views to the south.

The inside of the building will be "gut renovated," and the lower floor will house the hotel's production and catering kitchen.

Guests will access the property from the Tourists site on State Road via a new trail "utilizing existing historic underpasses beneath the railroad tracks."

"We have worked with Pan Am Railways and have secured permanent easements to create pedestrian circulation under and around their tracks," the narrative states.

Just down the road from Tourists, Greylock Works is dedicating a portion of its massive renovated mill space to studios and offices.

Dubbed East Studios at Greylock Works, the plan calls for 5,700 square feet of the sprawling former mill's weave shed to be dedicated to collaborative workspace, including offices and studios.

"An essential component of the East Studios is flexibility in occupancy and membership within the collaborative workspace," wrote developer Salvatore Perry in a March 7 letter to the Planning Board.

And as has become almost routine, a substantial block of the meeting agenda is dedicated to new tenants of developer David Moresi's Norad Mill. This month, the planning board will hear from a vegan candy manufacturer, a retailer selling clothing and merchandise in the Woodstock tradition, an art studio and a wholesaler of outdoor gear.

The Planning Board meeting begins at 6 p.m. Monday in City Hall.

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


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