While it may have appeared to some that the Partnership for North Adams had been too quiet since its inception in 2011, this week's Redevelopment Authority meeting revealed a proposal that not only underscores the importance of the Partnership's subtle work, but also holds great promise for the city.
A pitch by North Adams Development Trust Inc. -- a body born out of the Partnership -- to take over the management of Western Gateway Heritage State Park passed the Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday. The proposal contains a slew of transformational ideas and a hefty bit of financial good news.
It's obvious that the park has suffered over the years of its troubled past. There are of course several gems still within its buildings, but the locale still leaves one feeling that there is so much more potential.
The proposal details a payment of $750,000 for the ground lease and another $1.3 to $1.5 million in funds to be invested in the park's six buildings over three years, aimed at exterior and interior improvements. Then there's the demolition of the Sons of Italy building to make way for a new entrance to the park, replete with a parking area and green space with sculptures.
This long-term plan of breathing needed new life into the buildings and crafting a new entrance is aimed at creating a retail plaza called Greylock Marketplace in the park, with Mass MoCA helping to market the available real estate.
Then, when the shift to Furnace Street of the city's main route to Mount Greylock's summit is factored in, we can see a long chain of connectivity for tourism and commerce: From the state's highest peak down to the Greylock Marketplace and then over to nearby downtown and Mass MoCA.
Oh, and that $750,000 lease payment? Mayor Alcombright has already suggested the revitalization of the Mohawk Theater as a likely place put that money to use -- a further step in the right direction for the city.
With this finely crafted vision now unveiled, we're eager to see not only this idea gain momentum, but also to learn what other grand moves the Partnership has been quietly hammering out.