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North Adams Planners OK High End Union Street Housing
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
12:49AM / Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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David Moresi plans to renovate the second and third floors of the Wall-Streeter mill into one and two-bedroom apartments.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Developer David Moresi's next project is to transform the offices in the former Wall-Streeter building into high-end apartments.
The Planning Board on Monday approved Moresi Commercial Investments' request Monday for a change of use to operate mixed occupancy of commercial and residential use in an I-2 zone at 26 Union St.
"For the next couple of years, we are going to focus on housing in North Adams," Moresi said. "This will be one of three projects and it will be mixed-use redevelopment of the former Wall-Streeter Shoe Co. We are bringing back the name."
Moresi said the plan is to build high-end housing on the second and third floors that will range from one to two-bedroom units. The first floor will remain office space.
"We are focused on more of a high-end nature of these residences and we are presently engaged in actively leasing and getting some commitment to them," he said. "The building is going to get a real interior gutting and we want to bring back the real mill look to the building and reclaim the hardwood floors."
He said there will be three commercial units on the first floor, including Northern Berkshire School Union's central office that will be relocating there.
The basement will have a shared bike repair area for tenants.
"We see a demand for this ... people are relocating here a lot of them are younger people," he said. "A lot of people are biking around so what we are going to do is create a space where they can store their bikes ... where there is a bench so they can work on them."
He said a pet grooming area is also on the table.
A portion of the west parking lot will be converted to green space but HiLo nightclub across the street will still have access to the mill's parking.
Moresi has redeveloped and renovated a number of commercial and residential properties, including most successfully the Norad Mill. He also renovated apartment units in the Mulcare Block on Marshall Street and was awarded the bid for Johnson School, which he also plans to convert to housing. 
The Planning Board also approved one of Moresi's tenants in their relocation from Union Street to the Norad Mill on Roberts Drive. Bluebell Servicing requested a change of use to operate a business in an I-1 zone.
"They will join the Norad community and bring a few more jobs over there," Moresi said.
In other business, the board approved William B. Schmitt's request to open a tea shop at 149 Eagle St.
"It will be a very basic retail-based situation," Schmitt said. "I want to sell high-quality loose leaf organic tea in about 50 different variations."
He said he may look to sell food at the location in the future or to open as a cafe.
The board also heard from Michael Hernandez representing Honey Beer & Wine LLC that has purchased Ed's Variety on Union Street.
"No changes, they just bought the business as is," he said.
Planner Lisa Blackmer noted that parking has always been an issue at the corner store and asked that the new owners make an attempt to have employees park elsewhere. 
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