Spring Street project taking shape

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According to Mark Paresky, a major land holder and developer in the downtown area, the 26,000-square-foot building will have a retail operation facing Spring Street, with four other retail spaces available for lease along the south side.

Community leaders expect the project to help Spring Street become more of a draw for shoppers and diners.

"One of the things we think is important on Spring Street is creating a critical mass by increasing the density," Paresky said. "We want to make sure the experience of coming to the downtown district is as good as all the other things Williamstown has to offer."

The added retail space on the south side of the building leaves the front of the building relatively unchanged. A drive/walk way along the south side will offer a pedestrian feel to the alcove, with three glass-front retail spaces. The Purple Pub will be housed in the rear of the building.

Paresky noted that the pub is still available for lease -- he is seeking the right operator to come in and run an already established college hot spot.

These revelations were made during a "topping off" ceremony, marking the day that the highest beam is placed on the project. Construction workers, developers and community members took turns signing a corner beam in the space that will be the Purple Pub.

"This building will set the standard for future development on Spring Street," said Town Administrator Peter Fohlin. "The exterior is sensitive to our heritage and the interior will be environmentally sensitive."

Construction began in February, although the design had been under way for a year. Part of the project is to upgrade insulation, windows, heating, plumbing, and mechanical systems to make the building more efficient. A photo voltaic solar panel array is also under consideration.

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The first floor will be retail space, with office space on floors two, three and four. The fourth floor office will feature a private deck on the roof.

And, Paresky said, the views from all the offices are "spectacular."

"There couldn't be a more desirable office space with such an amazing view in an urban environment," he said.

A stairway at the rear of the building will offer direct access to the Williams College campus.

One retail and two office spaces have already been leased. The rest is still available. Paresky said.

His next project, he noted, is two lots north, where the Purple Pub and a Subway once stood.

That structure burned down two years ago. In its place a four-story retail/residential structure will be erected, Paresky said. Architects are working on a design for the new building.

An estimated cost and time frame for the project had not yet been determined, he added.

To reach Scott Stafford: sstafford@berkshireeagle.com.


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