William Stanley Business Park of the Berkshires to house financial firms
By Patrick Donges
Pittsfield, MA – North Adams-based MountainOne Financial Partners, whose holdings include Hoosac Bank and Williamstown Savings Bank, announced Tuesday they will be leasing a 1.3 acre parcel at the William Stanley Business Park of the Berkshires.
The parcel will be used for construction of the MountainOne Financial Center, an over 5,000 square-foot facility that will house production offices for Hoosac Bank and two subsidiary companies.
Ryan Leap, Sr. Vice President of Commercial Lending at Hoosac Bank and Williamstown Savings Bank, described what the city must sign off on before construction can begin.
"The two things we need to get approval for are the flood plain special permit. Part of that parcel, not the entire parcel, is in a flood zone. And then we have a drive-up ATM plan for the location. We hope to start construction by the end of June into early July, and then there's about a six month construction schedule."
The drive-up ATM must be approved by the City Council. Leap said architectural plans for the building will be completed in the coming days.
The company will seek LEED certification for green building practices as part of the project.
"We like the green aspect of the building. Anything that we build, new construction, part of our mission in the community is to build green. Part of it is that we're also on a brownfield site, and we thought that would fit in well with the location."
Leap said that while there are some extra costs associated with LEED certification, the company thinks it will be worth it.
"That cost is worth is as long as it's within reason. We obviously couldn't afford to double the cost of the building. We're also going to do some other green features; passive solar, skylights, some pretty minimal design on the inside."
Leap could not comment on the estimated cost of the building, saying only that construction costs will depend on the final plans. The company hopes to open the facility by December.
The 52 acre William Stanley Business Park is administrated by the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority (PEDA), a quasi-governmental entity created in 1998 in accordance with an agreement between General Electric and the city for remediation of the former brownfield site.
Cory Thurston started as PEDA's executive director earlier this month.
"It's nice to start right out of the gate with a new tenant."
He said MountainOne's interest in constructing the building to LEED standards makes sense for both business and the environment.
"I think most businesses and industries that are looking at new construction in this day and age would look to do a LEED certified building, it only makes sense. And it fits nicely here from the standpoint of a remediated brownfield site."
Thurston said there is definite interest from companies looking to lease the park's seven remaining sites with one caveat; PEDA is still awaiting final transfer of some park property.
"PEDA still is awaiting the transfer of about 16 acres from GE. That's expected within the next two or three months."
The park's first tenant, Western Massachusetts Electric Company, received an award earlier this month from the Solar Electric Power Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association for their 1.8 megawatt photovoltaic power facility, which was completed last year.