North Adams launches RFP for Mohawk Theater / iBerkshires.com

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A request for proposals for the Mohawk Theater will be available on Wednesday.

Mayor Jennifer Macksey told city council Tuesday evening that the request for proposals document will be available at the community development office.

The decision on what comes next for the historic cinema will be more collaborative than other property sales in the past. Maccksey said she would seek City Council representation on the selection committee and seek public input.

“Part of the rollout will be a few public forums, so the public can come and ask questions about the creation of the first two or three,” she said.

The mayor had pulled the 1938 theater from a buy-sell shortly after taking office in January. The previous administration had recommended selling the vacant property to a developer planning to turn the adjacent 103 Main St. into a hotel.

The city council, however, balked when it was excluded from decision-making over the historic property, delaying any vote until Maccksey took office.

Maccksey had committed to a more transparent process in the sale of the theater and had held two public meetings to seek public comment before reissuing the request for proposals.

In response to questions, the mayor said decisions about how it should be advertised have resulted in a delay in the preparation of tender documents.

“We’ve spent a lot of time contacting other theaters who have done renovation projects, other architects who have worked on theater projects, and we advertise in some architectural abstracts,” Maccksey said. “We also have a list of people who have been in the past that we will inform, as well as the scorers and we advertise in different more art-oriented places.

“It took a little longer than I thought, but most of it was based on how we were going to work.”

A virtual tour for potential bidders will take place on Thursday, June 5 and the deadline for submission is July 1.

The mayor said the recent state grant for the Mohawk marquee was $189,000.

“We are in the process of drawing up a tender to recruit an engineer,” she said. “The grant is wonderful. It does not cover the full cost of the project, but some funds are set aside to complete this project.”

The city has invested $2,656,435 in government grants in the building and a $600,000 loan, to be repaid this year, since the theater resumed in the late 1990s.

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