The option that a proposed model railroad museum held to buy the Western Gateway Heritage State Park expired June 30, but the city and museum continue to pursue a deal.

The Berkshire Eagle   reports the option is one step in the complex process undertaken by Thomas Krens' Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum to build an 83,000-square-foot museum, which is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of annual visitors if and when it opens.

Mayor Thomas Bernard said the delay was a result of the city's need to perform due diligence by reviewing the contract to make sure it still works for the city.

The option contract had expired in May, but was extended to June 30.

The Krens effort already has paid $20,000 for the first year and $30,000 for the second year under the previous option contract. An option is a fee paid to the owner of property to make sure it is not sold before the buyer has the opportunity to close the sale.

Benard said he doesn't expect the negotiations to last much longer.


The Museum has an option to purchase the Sons of Italy parcel, as well as its efforts to renew the option on the Western Gateway Heritage State Park.

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