1. Articles from JimKinney413

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    1. DevelopSpringfield lauded for preserving home of monkey wrench inventor

      DevelopSpringfield lauded for preserving home of monkey wrench inventor

      DevelopSpringfield received a 2017 Massachusetts Historical Commission Historic Preservation Award for its work preserving and rebuilding the Merrick-Phelps House. The award was announced by Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin at a ceremony on Nov. 2. Galvin serves as chairman of the commission, which administers state and federal historic preservation programs.   The Merrick-Phelps House at 83 Maple St. dates to 1841. It was built by Solymon Merrick, inventor of the monkey wrench.

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    2. Bon-Ton CEO says chain will shut 40 locations in 2018

      Bon-Ton CEO says chain will shut 40 locations in 2018

      Beleaguered retailer Bon-Ton Stores Inc. will close at least 40 of its 260 stores in 2018, company president and CEO William Tracy said this week in a press release announcing the most recent financial returns. The chain's net loss for its most recent quarter was $44.9 million, and comparable store sales decreased 6.6 percent vs. the same quarter last year.  Bon-Ton's only Massachusetts location is in the Westfield Shops on Route 20.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    3. Wellspring Harvest plans to grow vegetables, wealth at Chapman Valve site

      Wellspring Harvest plans to grow vegetables, wealth at Chapman Valve site

      Wellspring Harvest Corp. hosted tours Wednesday of its soon-to-be completed 15,000-square-foot, $1.3-million greenhouse on part of the old Chapman Valve site on Pinevale Street in the city's Indian Orchard neighborhood. The greenhouse will grow lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, baby kale, cilantro, mint and and array of vegetables from around the world year-round in nutrient-rich water. Customers include Baystate Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, Big Y Foods, Sodexo on behalf of the Springfield Public Schools and Squash Trucking.

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    4. Pride plans 'super' store at old River Inn site in Springfield

      Pride plans 'super' store at old River Inn site in Springfield

      Pride Stores plans to build two new Springfield "Super Pride" outlets in the coming year, including one on the site of the old River Inn at State and Thompson Streets in the city's McKnight neighborhood. The other would replace an existing Pride store at the corner of Breckwood Boulevard and Wilbraham Road near Western New England University, said Pride Stores CEO Robert Bolduc.

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    5. Springfield's historic Hampden Savings Bank building once again for sale

      Springfield's historic Hampden Savings Bank building once again for sale

      The onetime headquarters of Hampden Savings Bank at 1665 Main St. in downtown Springfield is once again for sale. The 1,800-square-foot space was built by the bank, now part of Berkshire Bank, 99 years ago for $100,000 -- nearly $2 million in today's money. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Most recently it was the law office of Barry Kaufman, and before that it was the office of him and his father, Kaufman & Kaufman. The building has housed law offices since 1965, Barry Kaufman said.

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    6. $3.5 million from state to help resurrect Pynchon Plaza in downtown Springfield

      $3.5 million from state to help resurrect Pynchon Plaza in downtown Springfield

      Starting this Spring, construction is set to bring Pynchon Plaza in downtown Springfield back to life, thanks to $3.5 million from the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. Patrick Sullivan, Springfield's executive director of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management said the city is preparing to put the project out to bid with construction to start in March and to be completed by the end of the 2018 construction season. The newly rebuilt half-acre park will feature a funicular -- a fancy term for an inclined elevator -- making it handicapped accessible and replacing the trouble-prone elevator. The park covers a four-story change of ...

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    7. Westfield job fair planned for laid-off Berkshire Industries workers

      Westfield job fair planned for laid-off Berkshire Industries workers

      More than 40 precision manufacturing companies from around the Pioneer Valley and nearby Connecticut will attend a job fair next week in Westfield organized for the 80 workers who lost their jobs when Berkshire Industries shut down unexpectedly last month. "We have had a pretty significant response from companies in the area," said David M. Cruise, president and CEO of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. "We are trying to outreach to the workers, to let them know it's happening." The event is from 2-4 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Westfield Senior Center, 45 Noble St. Participants ...

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    8. Cleanup cost estimate for historic Court Square hotel in Springfield less than expected

      Cleanup cost estimate for historic Court Square hotel in Springfield less than expected

      It will cost just under $2 million to remove environmental hazards from the derelict Court Square hotel at 31 Elm St. and prepare the building for a $35-million to $45-million rehabilitation decades on the drawing boards. That $2 million estimate, prepared by O'Reilly, Talbot & Okun environmental engineering, of Springfield, and revealed Tuesday to the Springfield Redevelopment Authority Board, is about half what the SRA thought it would have to pay.

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    9. Determining what environmental hazards lie within abandoned Court Square hotel in downtown Springfield next step in redevelopment

      Determining what environmental hazards lie within abandoned Court Square hotel in downtown Springfield next step in redevelopment

      The Springfield Redevelopment Authority Board will learn on Tuesday just what environmental hazards lurk within the dilapidated former hotel at 31 Elm St. and just how much it will cost to clean it up and make way for its redevelopment.

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    10. Union Station getting busy with fast food, rental car service and more open for business (photos)

      Union Station getting busy with fast food, rental car service and more open for business (photos)

      Dietz & Co. Architects is doing business in 8,000 square feet of office space on an upper floor of Union Station. And downstairs, Sixt Rental Car, a Subway sandwich shop, Dunkin' Donuts, Commuter Variety newsstand, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Greyhound, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority and a few retail kiosks fill up some of the a available retail space. There is more space available and the Springfield Redevelopment Authority is showing the property to prospective tenants. Peter Picknelly of Peter Pan Bus Lines said he's working on deals to bring both the company's offices and a branch of ...

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    11. Sears to close Berkshire Mall location in January; Holyoke, Eastfield Mall stores spared

      Sears to close Berkshire Mall location in January; Holyoke, Eastfield Mall stores spared

      For now, Sears stores in the Eastfield and Holyoke malls and Kmarts in Holyoke and Palmer are spared from closing, according to a list published by parent company Sears Holdings on Thursday.  But Sears does plan to shut down the Sears store in the Berkshire Mall, located a few miles north of Pittsfield in Lanesborough, by the end of January 2018. The Sears outlet in Holyoke will also remain. An independently owned Sears Hometown store on Route 9 in Hadley is for sale.

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    12. Southwick County Club property could become $280k homes, prospective owners say

      Southwick County Club property could become $280k homes, prospective owners say

      The Southwick Country Club and its 122 acres could be turned into a subdivision of homes selling from $280,000 to $380,000 homes, each on a one-acre lot, according to the family team who have an agreement to buy the property. Fiore Realty Holdings LLC of Southwick has an agreement to buy the Country Club, an 18-hole course established in 1920, from current owner William J. Najam Jr. of Westfield for $1.6 million.

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    13. Mercedes-Benz of Springfield selling a car each day since opening

      Mercedes-Benz of Springfield selling a car each day since opening

      Mercedes-Benz of Springfield has sold a car virtually every day since it started doing business two and a half weeks ago, said Peter Wirth, the dealership's managing partner. What's more, the dealership's service department has had 10 to 15 customers bring cars in every day, a sign that there is pent up demand a ready customer base for Mercedes-Benz in the Pioneer Valley despite there not having been a dealership here for more than a decade.

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    14. Laid off from Berkshire Industries? Local companies want to hire you -- here's how to find them.

      Laid off from Berkshire Industries? Local companies want to hire you -- here's how to find them.

      Eight local precision manufacturers say they are looking to hire workers like those who lost their jobs when Berkshire Industries in Westfield shut down last week without warning. But people in Westfield City Hall and at the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County Inc. don't know who all the 80 displaced workers are, and how those workers can be contacted.

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    15. Westfield AA bond rating upheld by Standard & Poors

      Westfield AA bond rating upheld by Standard & Poors

      Ratings service Standard & Poor's affirmed the City of Westfield's long-term "AA" bond rating recently, according to a news release issued Monday by Mayor Brian Sullivan. The "AA" rating is the third-highest rating in S&P's system of municipal bond ratings and indicates that the debtor has a very strong capacity to pay back any money it borrows. Having good credit means the city can get a good interest rate on borrowed funds, thereby saving it money.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    16. New details of MGM Springfield revealed on City2City tour

      New details of MGM Springfield revealed on City2City tour

      From candlepin lanes in the bowling center to local foods in the restaurants, Alex Dixon, general manager of MGM Springfield, shared some updates on a City2City Pioneer Valley tour of the casino property Monday. Dixon explained that he'd never heard about candlepins, a New England favorite unknown outside the region, but people asked for them, so he's working to include them in the facility's 10-lane bowling center. "If it's what your local community wants, it just doesn't make sense not to include those things," he said.

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    17. With 150 employees, Berkshire Industries in Westfield abruptly closes

      With 150 employees, Berkshire Industries in Westfield abruptly closes

      Berkshire Industries, a precision parts manufacturer founded in 1956 that recently had 150 employees, closed abruptly this week. Employees at the 100,000-square-foot facility at 109 Apremont Way referred questions to Whitesell Industries, the company's Naples, Florida-based owner. Berkshire Industries was a contract manufacturer that specialized in components for the aerospace, semiconductor, and telecommunications industries. The real estate at 109 Apremont Way changed hands in 2015 from one Massachusetts-based entity called Berkshire Industries inc. to an identically named company based in Florida. The price was $1.1 million, according to city records and the Hampden Registry of Deeds.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    18. Whistle Stop Cafe derailed at Springfield's Union Station, but Student Prince's Andy Yee, Peter Picknelly ready to step in

      Whistle Stop Cafe derailed at Springfield's Union Station, but Student Prince's Andy Yee, Peter Picknelly ready to step in

      The Springfield Redevelopment Authority, owner of Union Station, and the backers of the Whistle Stop Cafe were unable to come to terms, SRA Executive Director Christopher J. Moskal said. The Whistle Stop was planned as a 1,107-square-foot Italian-themed restaurant with craft beer and wine. The owner would have been Carlo Bonavita, whose son Sergio owns Westfield River Brewing in Southwick. Bonavita's cousin, John, owned The Tavern in Westfield. Moskal said the SRA is in talks with an entity to run a restaurant, but he couldn't identify the party until the deal is further along its way toward ...

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    19. With SkillSmart, EDC of Western Massachusetts connects people, training, jobs (video)

      With SkillSmart, EDC of Western Massachusetts connects people, training, jobs (video)

      Baystate Health has 12,000 employees and makes about 1,400 new hires a year of folks from outside its system, said President and CEO Mark Keroack. And as the city's largest employer, Baystate's gotten used to creating its own pipelines, or dedicated training programs to fill its need for workers, Keroack said. That's changing with Springfield Works and SkillSmart, an online portal for job seekers that tells them what skills they need for the job they want. It also helps them identify the skills they have already -- either from school, the military or just from living ...

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    20. Springfield Works introduces online SkillSmart tool linking people, jobs, skills

      Springfield Works introduces online SkillSmart tool linking people, jobs, skills

      For Anne Shecrallah Kandilis, Working Cities Challenge director for the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, that duplication represents a problem. All 43 agencies have their own funding streams, their own management and their own goals, Kandilis said. They all operate in silos -- up and down in their own organizations, with no one working across.  "There is such a disconnect," said Kandilis, who started at the EDC in January. Kandilis administers a program called Springfield Works, and the $475,000 Working Cities Challenge grant -- a competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston -- that funds its efforts.

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    21. CTrail announces proposed fares for Springfield-New Haven trains

      CTrail announces proposed fares for Springfield-New Haven trains

      Under a set of proposed fares released Monday, it would cost $12.75 for a one-way ticket from Springfield to New Haven on the new CTrail commuter train service that begins in May 2018. The short hop to Windsor Locks would cost $4, according to the rate schedule released by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. When the CTrail Hartford Line service launches, 12 round-trip trains will operate daily from Springfield to New Haven, nine on weekends. Tickets bought on board the trains will be a little more expensive. But there are discounts for weekly passes, as well as 10-trip ticket ...

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    22. Eastfield Mall owners buy old Macy's store in move paving the way for redevelopment on Boston Road

      Eastfield Mall owners buy old Macy's store in move paving the way for redevelopment on Boston Road

      Mountain Development, the New Jersey-based owners of Springfield's Eastfield Mall, bought the former Macy's store there earlier this month for $1 million. The move, anticipated last spring when the beleaguered retailer put the 127,000-square-foot building on the market, is one more step toward redeveloping the site and "de-malling" it into a mixed use complex. The transaction became public in papers filed at the Hampden Registry of Deeds.

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    23. Marcotte Ford begins building $8M dealership facility (photos)

      Marcotte Ford begins building $8M dealership facility (photos)

      The new Marcotte Ford building taking shape at 1025 Main St. will reflect the latest in Ford Motor Co. design and branding. But it will be filled with a lot of the familiar faces customers know from Marcotte's 55 years in business in the Paper City. "We have a lot of immediate family who work here," said Suzanne Keller, a granddaughter of dealership founder, Al Marcotte. "But all the people who work here are family. People come here to work and we don't want them to leave."

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