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The Berkshire Hotel would redeem a Bridge Street eyesore  

In his letter to the editor, Andy Moro of Housatonic writes: “The naysayers can't stand someone living the American dream proposing to develop an eyesore into something that will benefit the town.”

To the Editor:

Over the last two decades Great Barrington has made a number of positive strides. The Mahaiwe Theater was a place for us kids to attend a cheap move on Saturdays and when “Dr. Zhivago” played we wore long johns because the heating system didn’t work. When good people stepped up to save the old structure, some in town were sure it couldn’t be done. Today, we are proud of what a gift they gave all of us.

Then, we have been blessed to have Iredale Mineral Cosmetics improve several buildings on Church Street and the old Bryant School are great additions to Great Barrington.

Over the last two decades much has been said regarding development of the Searles High School property and all wanting the taxpayer to support them in one form or another. Now we have Vijay and Chrystal Mahida’s proposed AAA Four Diamond hotel. Willing to invest $20 plus million to build a world-class hotel and only requesting an opportunity to make the site something we can be proud of. Again, the naysayers can’t stand someone living the American dream proposing to develop an eyesore into something that will benefit the town. It will add new jobs and around $450,000 in property taxes.

I had to laugh when questions were raised regarding salt runoff from the proposed parking lot. For years the Great Barrington Highway Department dumped ALL the snow with salt removed from Main Street in the former Searles parking lot. Most people upset with saving Searles didn’t even live in town when it was a high school. As an alumnus of Searles I remember well the several levels within the building and the quality time I spent in Principal John Clarke’s office.

This project will tie into the development of Bridge Street, Church Street, The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and Iredale Mineral Cosmetics and people will be renting rooms in this grand hotel long before the log homes site breaks ground.

Jane Iredale, someone highly respected in Great Barrington, supports this project. Please attend the Selectman’s special permit meeting and support this project. Contact our selectboard members; tell them it is time to do something positive with this eyesore.

Andy Moro

251 North Plain Road

Housatonic, Mass.

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