The reopening of The Purple Pub has been pushed back from this fall to an undetermined date next summer because of a change in the scale of construction plans for its new home in the Hopkins Furniture Store located at 61 Spring St.
“There was an initial plan for minor renovations [to the former Hopkins Furniture Store] which could have been completed by now,” said Mark Paresky, the building’s owner. “That plan was scrapped long ago in favor of a major renovation that is in line with the Spring Street revitalization efforts.”
In addition to housing the Purple Pub, the renovated building will become the new home of former Spring St. hotspot, Subway, as well as Zanna, a high-end women’s clothing retailer currently located at 41 Spring St. It will also have nine office spaces ranging from 500 to 6,000 square feet on its top three floors with changing rooms and showers for building occupants.
The updated building plans were unanimously approved by the zoning board on June 25 at a public hearing. The plans state that “the project consists of the demolition of the former funeral home at the rear of the former Hopkins Store and renovation of and additions to the former furniture store building.” The new plans stipulate that the building will become Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, “which will be a huge benefit for tenants, the community and the environment,” Paresky said.
The redevelopment of the former Hopkins building is just one step in the revitalization of the so-called “Downtown Williamstown,” according to Paresky. “By increasing the number of quality stores and restaurants, we intend to once again make the downtown a sought-after shopping destination for tourists, Berkshire County residents and visitors from neighbouring New York and Vermont,” he said.
To achieve this aim, Paresky has launched a new web site, www.downtownwilliamstown.com that lists all downtown businesses and provides event news and special offers. “The website is a collaboration between property owners and merchants and will help to reinvigorate Spring and Water Streets and to attract new businesses and visitors to the downtown area,” he said.
Subway and the Purple Pub were located in the Centre Building until March of 2007, when it sustained serious structural damage in a fire. The cause of the fire has yet to be released, according to Craig Pedercini, Williamstown Fire Department Chief. Paresky plans on razing and rebuilding the damaged building but has no concrete plans as to when that will take place.