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Planners Hope to Break Ground on Pittsfield's Site 9 in August
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:32AM / Friday, May 26, 2023
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Mark Arigoni of SLR International Corp. shows a site map for the developed parcel in the William Stanley Business Park.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With the Site 9 redevelopment fully funded, planners are pushing to get shovels in the ground by the end of the summer.

On Wednesday, the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority received an update from the project consultants.

In the last month, the team has met with city planners to review its permitting strategy and with the Department of Public Works to review the subdivision of the site requirements for the stormwater permit, had a subsequent meeting with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System on stormwater requirements, submitted permitting plans to state Department of Environmental Protection, and refined the funding budget summary.

If all goes well, the hope is to start digging at the end of August.

"I think it's gotten to a pretty good place where we have all these buckets of funding," Mark Arigoni of SLR International Corp. said.

"We have to make sure that the requirements for all these funding sources are put in the right buckets of how they're going to be spent."

Earlier this year, it was announced that the gap in funding for the $10.8 million redevelopment has been closed. The last of the funding includes $400,000 of Pittsfield Economic Development Authority foundation funds, $1.3 million in GE landscaping funds, and $4.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The 16-acre parcel at the corner of Woodlawn Avenue and Tyler Street Extension previously housed a General Electric factory and is the largest and most prominent section of the William Stanley Business Park. While earlier plans envisioned the parcel for one large tenant, it has been subdivided to accommodate more buildings and increase flexibility.

The next steps include refining the cost estimate, submitting the stormwater permit in June, developing draft bid documents for review in late June or early July, and meeting with Mill Town Capital to discuss potential interest in developing on the site.

Arigoni displayed several site options that include "activity generators" and green space. These include interactive elements such as playground infrastructure and swings as well as places to gather outside and will be dependent on the funding available.

"We're not just looking for private development, we're not just looking to green it up," he said. "There are some activity generators that we can put in that centralized space."

Chair Maurice Callahan pointed out that there are a number of generous companies in the community that could potentially partner with the site to offer those additions.

"I feel strongly that we need to give something back to the community in how we treat that one green space," he said.

Business Development Manager Michael Coakley also reported that there are a couple of firms interested in developing within the business park: a regional form based out of Albany that is interested in site 3N and a local firm interested in site 4.

"And they're both having a very similar issue to what Berkshire Kind did in that the foundation is very expensive to do here because of the fill that they put on,"

I mean, it looks great but you can't put a foundation in fill without either doing dynamic compaction, which they did here at the BIC, or you have to move on that fill out of there, which is very expensive."

The business park is working with consultants to come up with creative ways to address the issue and Coakley said it is the only thing holding them back.  

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