on Spring Street, coming soon, according to local real estate mogul Mark Paresky (whose name should sound familiar). The good news:

He said he sees his plans as only one part of a Spring Street “resurgence,” evidenced so far by the thoroughfare’s expanded parking lot and the proposed rebuilding of the Images Cinema storefront entrance.

The latest planned improvement to Spring Street would move Zanna’s, a high-end locally owned women’s clothing store, from its current spot at 41 Spring St. to a renovated retail space in the former George Hopkins building at 61 Spring St.

As for the half-retail, half-residential structure Zanna’s occupies currently, Paresky said, “We plan to plan to replace those buildings with new commercial and residential buildings that reflect the character and tradition of Spring street while looking to the future.”

He is also still in the contemplation phase, he said, about
what to do with the property he owns between Zanna’s and the Hopkins building, which housed three restaurants before its interior burned in a fire in March 2007. Paresky said he plans to demolish that building, but it will remain as is until at least the autumn.
Eventually, however, Paresky said, “We’ll make Spring Street a destination for anyone visiting the Berkshires, Southern Vermont and neighboring New York.”

Engineers from Guntlow and Associates submitted plans last week at Town Hall that propose a renovation and expansion of the Hopkins building.

In addition to Zanna’s, the re-vamped structure would likely house a Subway franchise and the Purple Pub, which had occupied part of the building that burned last year. Professional offices would continue to occupy the building’s second floor.

The bad news (at least in the short run, in the long run, sounds like a HUGE improvement):

Some residents had hoped the Purple Pub might open by summer’s end, but the popular bar and restaurant will likely not re-open in its new location for many more months. Plans show that engineers will need to secure five special permits and two variances and one waiver from the Zoning Board of Appeals, along with seven other various town permits before proceeding.

The special permits would allow contractors to expand certain parts of the building and the parking lot. According to the plans, the first-floor pub would have 76 seats at 19 tables and 12 seats along a bar. The fast-food restaurant would seat 32 customers at eight tables. Paresky said the building should contain changing rooms and showers for those interested in bicycling to work, and may feature other attributes designed to promote concern for a healthy environment.

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