ADAMS -- Two new residents will take up in an empty town building with hopes of opening a studio to sell art, after recently being granted a variance and special permit from the Zoning Board.
George and Patricia Le Maitre, who live in Nevada, are purchasing the property at 13.5 Grove St. from owner David Krutiak and will be refitting the downstairs space to suit the needs of a sculpture studio.
The couple plans to sell artwork from the studio and reside in a second-story apartment.
"This is probably the best way of putting that property back to viable use," said board member Peter West during a meeting of the board last Tuesday night.
The variance was to allow residential housing in a district zoned industrial, and the special permit covers the establishment of the studio.
West strongly favored the plan.
"Knowing a little bit about real estate around here, I think we'll find that we're going to see this more and more throughout the area, and frankly, what else do you do with these buildings?" West said. "They're not conducive to industry; no one's bringing any large businesses here. Let's get it cleaned up and back on the rolls."
West and board Chairman Michael Mach also pointed out the want for more artists in town, given the strong arts communities to the north in North Adams and Williamstown.
"If we could attract some more artists into town, it would be nice," Mach said.
In response to a
"[The LaMaitres] came out here looking for property. ... We should be so lucky that they choose here to do this," West said.
In other business at the meeting, Scott D. Frye, of Linden Street, was granted a special permit to open a pellet stove cleaning and repair business he will operate from his home.
Frye said the business will be conducted in the homes of clients and consist of "mostly cleaning and then service thereafter." He also plans to perform repairs and replace parts.
Both decisions are subject to a 14-day decision notice at the Town Clerk's office and a 20-day appeal process.
To reach Phil Demers, email