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North Adams Awarded $200K for Mohawk Marquee Restoration
Staff Reports,
04:20PM / Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city is receiving $200,000 in state funding toward the refurbishment of the landmark Mohawk Theater marquee. 
 
North Adams was awarded $200,000 from the Regional Economic Development Organization program, which is administered through the Massachusetts Office of Business Development. Some $2.1 million in the competitive grants were announced on Wednesday for 38 projects across the state, including more than $600,000 in the Berkshires. 
 
The status of the 1938 theater has been the center of numerous discussion on downtown development and not a few biennial mayor contests. The marquee was last restored two decades ago and, while it's had some maintenance since, its neon lighting is worse for wear. 
 
A proposal to sell the theater two years ago prompted the City Council to insist on conditions that the marquee would be not be removed by the buyer. Requests for proposals on the building have contained language requiring the marquee be restored as part of any deal. 
 
It's not clear if $200,000 will be enough since the project will have to go out to bid. Pittsfield's Capitol Theater marquee cost $249,900 back in 2018; the marquee is now part of the Ralph Froio Senior Center. 
 
Examples of eligible grants include non-construction facade improvement and investments in signage and aesthetic improvements, continuation of pop-up businesses, projects similar to the Shared Street and Spaces Program that support enhanced foot traffic and local commerce, and main street recovery projects with high local impact for small businesses, according to the announcement. 
 
Also getting grants were: 
 
1Berkshire Strategic Alliance Foundation: $140,000 for programs aligned with the Berkshire Blueprint. 
 
• 1Berkshire: $28,875 for entrepreneurial and business support resource translation and $50,000 to redevelop and relaunch its jobs portal. 
 
• Berkshire Regional Planning Commission: $42,350 for the "Berkshire Business Best Foot Forward" pilot program 
 
• BRPC & Berkshire Natural Resources Council: $44,550 for online outdoor recreation asset map and commerce connectivity content
 
• BRPC & city of North Adams: $22,000 North Adams business permitting guide and enhancements 
 
• Adams, North Adams and the North Adams Chamber of Commerce: $40,000 for pop up North Berkshire.
 
• Town of Adams, ProAdams: $17,908 for downtown signage project
 
• Town of Great Barrington: $8,910 for art box project
 
• Williamstown Chamber of Commerce: $10,642 for business district banner project
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