NORTH ADAMS -- Area contractors say they've lost a valuable resource in H. Greenberg & Son Inc., after the Curran Highway business of almost 40 years closed Tuesday.
"It's a void that will be hard to fill," John Burke, of Burke Construction in Adams, said Thursday. "We had no idea they were going to close. The day before, we were in there buying [materials] for a job in North Adams."
Mary Swift, office manager of a fellow Curran Highway business, CW Construction Co. in Adams, also pointed to a dearth in area lumberyards, so much the worse for Tuesday's news.
"It's unfortunate for the employees and unfortunate for area contractors," she said. "[Greenberg's] is right up the street, and there's really only a few stores left that offer certain selections of [building materials]."
Added Burke, "I'm hoping and praying Stanley's [Lumber & Building in Adams] stays open."
Owner Steve Greenberg issued a statement within 24 hours of the store's abrupt closure -- which surprised customers, employees and contractors alike.
"It was with great regret that Greenberg's has made the difficult decision to close the North Adams store effective [Tuesday] due to the current economic downturn in the market," Greenberg said in Wednesday's release.
He added that the business would continue to service Northern Berkshire from its Bennington, Vt., location.
Mayor Richard Alcombright said he spoke to Greenberg on Thursday afternoon, and was told job-loss figures among Greenberg's roughly 20 full- or part-time employees are not as high as initially thought.
Pending several workers' decisions, six to 8 layoffs will result, and the others will keep their existing hours by transferring to Greenberg's in Bennington, Vt.
"Albeit we hate to lose jobs, I'm happy that a fair amount of employees are going to be able to retain them," Alcombright said.
The mayor also expressed hopes that a new business would soon occupy one of the city's most promising business localities -- at the corner of Curran Highway and Hodges Cross Road.
But contractors spoken to by the Transcript on Thursday found the nature of Greenberg's end distasteful.
"We've been doing business with them for over 20 years and didn't even get a phone call to say ‘hey, we're not going to be there any longer,' " said Jim Duda, of Duda & Holland on North Summer Street in Adams.
Much of Duda's business' materials were supplied by Greenberg's, he said.
"The backup plan is having to drive a lot further to get stuff," -- to 25-mile-away places like LP Adams in Dalton -- Duda said. "It definitely hurts because we'll be spending extra on fuel."
According to the Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds, ownership of the property at 1366 Curran Highway was transferred from the Trust Company of Vermont, successor trustee of the Norman H. Greenberg Revocatble Trust, to Normsel Development Ten LLC on Sept. 22, 2011. Normsel Development Ten LLC, is registered with the Vermont Secretary of State's corporations division as having offices at 321 Main St., Bennington, Vt., with David Greenberg as its manager. David Greenberg is one of three sons of Norman and Selma Greenberg. Selma Greenberg died on Oct. 8, 2011.
Transcript Senior Reporter Jennifer Huberdeau contributed to this report.