|Mirabito, O'Reilly Auto Parts Both Looking to Move to Pittsfield|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
03:39AM / Wednesday, March 08, 2017
|Engineer Casey Burch outlined the O'Reilly Auto Parts plan to the Community Development Board on Tuesday night. |
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mirabito is planning to move all three of its Berkshire locations under one roof with renovations to a building in the Downing Industrial Park.
The Community Development Board approved the plans for the site on Tuesday allowing the propane company to move to the next step. The business needs just a few more approvals before it can begin the renovations. The company currently operates three facilities in the Berkshires — in Dalton, Lenox, and Great Barrington — and all three operations will be condensed into the one building.
"We're just trying to bring them all together to be more efficient. It's an industrial park so it is an appropriate location," said Joseph Mirabito, president and CEO. "As soon as the permits are issued, we are ready to go."
The move will bring the 20 or so employees into the former Berkshire Beef Co. building, next to the UPS facility. That 1,300 square-foot building sits on 3.5 acres of land and was one of the first to be constructed in the park.
The plans call for most of the work to be performed inside the building with the additions of two 30,000 gallon propane storage areas outside — both above ground. Jim Scalise, from SK Design, outlined the plan to the board, including numerous site designs eyed to prevent any leaks into the environment.
"There are several layers to the protective measures that will occur on this sight," Scalise said.
Some of those protections are built into the water runoff system, and the water quality standards for a fuel storage facility are higher than another type of development. Scalise added that the plan is doing one better by meeting standards for a new development and not just a reuse.
"We have to treat a higher volume of water, one inch over the entire site as it related to water quality," Scalise said. "We fully met the standards for new development."
The building is already fully supported by public utilities and the external appearance isn't going to change that much. Scalise did say there would be a new sign that hasn't been designed yet, but that it will meet standards. A 6-foot chain link fence and a retaining will be erected. Minimal outside lighting will also be added, all of which will be pointed downward, Scalise said.
The 22 parking spaces will be maintained and Scalise says the estimated 20 employees will create only between 50 and 60 trips per day. The company plans to maintain the existing vegetation and already abuts a wooded area.
"We are 215 feet at our closest residential neighbor and we have the railroad between us," Scalise said.
Mirabito said once approved, the company will be ready to move forward with the project. The immediate work will be to consolidate the three locations into one but in the future, he hopes with the new building the company can grow.
"We're making an investment in Berkshire County and we want to grow the business here," Mirabito said.
The same building was once eyed for a medical marijuana facility by Greeneway Wellness Foundation. That plan never came to fruition. That proposal included the heads of Manna Wellness, who are now looking at opening one on Callahan Drive instead.
The building is currently being used by Burris Vending as storage.
In other business, O'Reilly Auto Parts is looking to demolish the former Century 21 office on Dalton Avenue and the commercial building behind it to build a new store. The 481 Dalton Ave, and the 10 Devonshire Ave. parcels sit between Ken's Bowl and the shopping plaza. O'Reilly is looking to build a 7,200 square-foot store.
"We'll be demoing the two buildings, we will be ripping up all of the asphalt," said Casey Burch, from Solli Engineering.
The Community Development Board gave the developer, Hutton Team LLC, a waiver from parking requirements to accommodate the development.
"We are providing 36 parking spaces. The town requires for retail this size 51, we are obviously coming to you for a waiver of this parking," Burch said, adding that a parking study revealed that "in peak demand, there are only 13 parking spaces in demand."
The plan for that site also includes major renovations to the water runoff systems. Currently, there are no drains, catch basins, or mechanisms to filter the water. The developer is planning to put those in, he said.
"We diverted all of that water from neighboring properties and connected it to the system," Burch said.
Burch says the new building will be 19 feet tall at the highest point and will be a tan color for most of it, then fading to a lighter tan at the top. In the middle of the building will be the O'Reilly signage on red.
"Our main building sign is in the front, facing Dalton Avenue and we will have a secondary sign facing Devonshire," Burch said.
The company also plans to landscape the site. The waiver was granted with the provision that the shrubs on the roadside are kept low enough to allow visibility for drivers entering and exiting the property.