By Tony Russo
BERLIN — Although they will begin finessing the edu application and deposit process over the coming weeks, the Berlin Mayor and Council approved a deal that will provide sufficient edus to complete the renovation of 113 North Main Street — formerly the Town Center II building — clearing the way for additional housing and retail in the space.
Developers hope to put six one-bedroom apartments upstairs will likely need about 3 edus to complete it but will also need a little help with financing the project.
As part of the payment structure for the new wastewater treatment plant, the cost of edus went up significantly. In order to be able to both fund the plan and not deter the growth the expansion was designed to accommodate the town developed a plan wherein edus could be paid off in 5 years, rather than requiring they be completely paid upfront as had been the policy in the past.
Toy Town is one of the Downtown businesses that will relocate into the building, taking up additional space. According to Town Director of Community and Economic Development this move will allow the owners to display more merchandise than they are able to in their current Main Street shop. He said that Worcester County Officials have suggested they might like to use the antique toy store in promotional material for the county.
It is likely the developers of the building will be eligible for state help in redoing the building’s facade and the expectation is that, once complete, the building will better compliment the Downtown.
In other Main Street news, A Thread of Elegance, which is currently on the South Main Street strip will take over the recently vacated Ta-Da Home on the corner of Main and Pitts Streets. This, in addition to the recent move to Pitts Street by Town Center II will fill the transition area between Pitts Street and the William Street shopping district.
Day also reported that the artist studios in the Visitors Center continue to be rented by local artists for producing and displaying their work. Only two of the six remain unrented.
“On all accounts, we want to thank you. we know this isn’t happening by itself, Williams said to Day. “I think you deserve a lot of credit.”
In other business, the Town will hold a public hearing at the end of the month to refinance $700,000 in bonds. Town Administrator Tony Carson said that the move wont’ significantly reduce the payment but will be able to be accomplished without extending the payent terms.
“We didn’t extend the years to pay it off,” Carson said.