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North Adams' Historic Dowlin Block Sold
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:40AM / Saturday, April 08, 2017
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The Dowlin Block has been purchased by a New York development group.


Two principals of Dowlin Building also bought the Porter and Tower building on Eagle Street last year. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A major piece of real estate on Main Street has been purchased by a New York development group. 
 
The Dowlin Block at 101-107 Main was purchased on Wednesday for $615,000 by Dowlin Building LLC. Two members of the group also bought the historic Porter and Tower building on Eagle Street last November for $60,000 as Eagle Street Holdings LLC. 
 
Mayor Richard Alcombright said he had met the group's principals and they seemed excited to be in the city. 
 
"They don't necessarily at this point in time have a real definitive plan," he said. "My understanding over the next few weeks they have an architect that they work with who will go through the Dowlin Block and basically give them some ideas and concepts."
 
The new owners are listed as Michael Gazal, as the resident agent, Veselko Buntic, Simon Blitz and Daniel Gazal. Michael Gazal and Buntic, both of Long Island, N.Y., are also the principals of Eagle Street Holdings. 
 
iBerkshires reached out to them for comment but had not yet heard back by the time this article was published.
 
The six-story Dowlin Block was constructed in 1895 by attorney Fred F. Dowlin, who was also involved in several other downtown buildings. Faced with blue and white Rutland marble, it has never been significantly renovated and still has many of its vintage characteristics, including original woodwork, stone and wrought-iron staircase and decorative tile floors.
 
It contained apartments, professional services, meeting rooms and, on the first floor, businesses including Sears for many years. The building, which had about 50 apartments at the time, had been purchased by local businessman and automotive dealer Richard E. Scarafoni in 1973 after being owned by North Adams Realty Trust for 50 years.
 
Scarafoni Associates had received permission to knock down the narrower back part of the building for parking in 2013 with the idea of converting the 65-apartment complex into 25 units. But the project never went forward. 
 
"We decided to sell the Dowlin Building several years ago when approached by a group with an exciting redevelopment plan. We cleared the building to accommodate the plan," David Carver, principal of Scarafoni, said in an email. "Unfortunately, the sale did not occur despite best efforts so we created a revised and city-approved redevelopment plan for us or a new buyer to execute.
 
"We are thrilled to confirm that a new investor group has stepped forward to purchase and renovate this important and historic building."
 
The entire property is valued by the city at $456,600, and the building at $346,700. 
 
The mayor said he was assuming that it would likely be used for housing and/or hospitality since the building has been heavily residential since its construction. 
 
"I think they're throwing out ideas and a little harder look at the building will determine what their use will be," he said. 
 
Domenica Douglas, who bought the Porter and Tower building at 34-36 Eagle St. in 2014, said the developers had reached out to her about buying the vacant four-story structure last year. She said they did not discuss what they planned to do with the building. 
 
The 14,000 square-foot brick structure also retains many of its original architectural characteristics, including its large glass storefronts, but is in poor shape. The property is assessed by the city at $92,200 but only $22,100 of that is for the building.
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