Carefully Crafted RFP Important for Mohawk Development Future
Now that he has the green light from the City Council, Mayor Thomas Bernard said the city will move ahead with developing a request for proposals for the Mohawk Theater.
But it's not going to be a rush job.
The Berkshire Eagle reports Bernard laid out his goal for returning the historic city-owned Mohawk Theater to private ownership in his State of the City Address in January. In the months since, the proposal, which required that the City Council adopt a disposition order declaring the property no longer fit for any municipal purpose, has meandered its way from the council to committee and back again.
Last month, the council adopted the disposition order on one condition: that as part of the request for proposals, the city ensure that the historic character of the theater's iconic Main Street marquee be preserved by the future owner.
The Mohawk Theater opened in 1938 and operated for decades as a movie house. Its financial struggles became the regular subject of news articles in the Berkshire Eagle and North Adams Transcript in the 1980s and until the theater shut its doors for good in the early 1990s.
The city acquired the property under the leadership of former Mayor John Barrett III, who made it a cornerstone of his plans to redevelop downtown North Adams. His successor, Richard Alcombright, also worked to develop a plan for the theater's reuse.