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Multi-Use Destination Venue Eyed for North Adams Mill

The former Cariddi Mill which has also gone by other names since the 1800s

An ambitious redevelopment project getting started in North Adams is expected to create a bridge between the city and neighboring Williamstown.The 240,000-square foot Cariddi Mill has sat dormant for a number of years on State Road, a main thoroughfare between the culturally rich areas of North Adams and Williamstown. Following a roughly $750,000 sale in July the building is now owned by Greylock Works, a newly formed company with a name that tips its cap to the site’s original cotton mill. Sal Perry and Karla Rothstein are architects with New York City-based Latent Productions, which is behind the project. Perry says work has already started on what they see as a multi-use structure.

“It’s primarily focused, for the first phase, on food entrepreneurs and celebrating the local agriculture,” Perry said. “Subsequent phases include an event space, farm-to-table restaurant, a park area, a hotel, amenities for the hotel and residential condos.”

Perry says about 75 units would be split between the hotel and condos. He says the first phase, estimated at $5 million, involves food-based businesses in New York and the Berkshires looking to expand for production.

“Creating a culture in the area that we call the weave shed, which is a 65,000-sqare foot space where the people would be making products on a wholesale basis primarily, but also having a retail component in more popular times of the year,” Perry said. “We would have about a 10,000-square foot event space that would be showcasing and utilizing the products that are being made the new businesses in that space.”

Perry envisions four phases, but isn’t ready to share a total project cost estimate. Thankful for the good conditions at the site, he is hopeful businesses can start operating in early 2016 with the first visitors arriving by summer or fall. Perry says engineers are considering repurposing a boiler room into a co-generation plant to power the facility. The mill was built to harness hydropower from the Hoosic River complete with a tunnel or flume that diverted the river under State Road and into the building.

“But in our case it would be creating a passage that people would travel through from the north or south of our site under and through our project and creating a link from park to park,” Perry explained. “Right now there is Greylock Park with beautiful ball fields south of our property. We would open this tunnel back up and hopefully coordinate with the city to create a bike path that even comes through this barrel-vaulted tail race that would then ramp back up to a park that we would be creating on the north side, which is along the waterfront of the Hoosic.”

Perry says North Adams’ Vision 2030 master plan along with studies from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and Williams College helped form the project’s template. North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright says the out-of-town developers are realizing assets many locals don’t see, calling the proposal “crazy good.”

“And the good thing about it…there’s really no government money,” Alcombright said. “Because you know what government money does. It creates time to get these projects. All of this so far is virtually all private dollar investment so it can hopefully happen quickly.”

The mill is located is about three miles from both MASS MoCA and the Clark Art Institute. State Senator Ben Downing says the multi-use proposal hits a sweet spot for the county’s economy in an area poised for development.

“We have a long history of manufacturing and innovation in the region and increasingly we are finding ways to harness it,” Downing said. “So I think the proposal from the folks at Latent is incredibly exciting and I am excited to do anything I can to support it.”

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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