Renovation of historic Adams building takes big step forward

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ADAMS — It might just be the narrowest storefront in Berkshire County, but it's a big step forward in the development of a historic building.

The small office at 25 Park St. is now the home of the building's developer, REDPM, which is closing in on the completion of a yearslong renovation of the mixed-use Mausert Block downtown.

REDPM celebrated the opening of the new office — it's the first completed part of the large-scale project that will include new apartments and retail spaces by the end of the year — with a ribbon-cutting that drew several state and local officials Friday afternoon.

Stephen Stenson, who operates REDPM with his wife, Holly, suggested that the building could be a "catalyst for further economic development" that results in the revitalization of other downtown buildings in Adams.

"We can actually increase the potential that Adams has," Stenson said.

Above the commercial storefronts, REDPM plans to complete 10 high-end apartments in November, a focal point of the building's redevelopment.

"The key to the revitalization of downtown is good housing in the downtown area," Stenson said.

The building has been renovated with an eye toward sustainability, with amenities like an energy-efficient air-conditioning system, electric charging stations for each apartment and green building practices.

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The Mausert Block is the first major downtown building to be renovated in Adams since 1984, Stenson noted.

"This is just the beginning," he said.

The Mausert Block has stood on Park Street for more than a century.

"We've tried to preserve as much of the building as possible, just from a historical perspective," Stenson said. "Those things — it does take time."

REDPM, which stands for Real Estate Development and Property Maintenance, purchased the building in 2011 and began construction in 2013. It did not anticipate work extending through 2018.

"We definitely wanted to do it right, for sure," Stenson said. "We're cognizant of the fact that we're custodians of the building."

REDPM has faced a number of economic hurdles in taking on the development project.

"There's challenges to working in North County, and one is logistics. You're in a rural environment. You can't really go down to the local lot to get everything you need," Stenson said. "When you're doing a commercial building, it's tricky, because you need certain materials."

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


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