Taking a big step on what happens to the Berkshire Mall, The Baker Hill Road District hopes to have Senate approval to own property, specifically the Berkshire Mall, on Thursday.

State Sen. Adam Hinds' office said it is currently prepping for the bill to go for a vote on Thursday.

I berkshires.com reports that Baker Hill Road District attorney Mark Siegars on Monday said.

"Senate counsel approved the language today after a lengthy delay,"

The bill will have to be signed by the governor, which Siegars hopes will happen quickly.

The legislation is just the first step, toward townwide efforts to redevelop the mall. The road district is currently only in charge of maintaining the Berkshire Mall Connector Road and receives income from taxing the Berkshire Mall, Target, and other entities on the property.

The owner, Berkshire Mall Realty Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of Kohan Retail Investment Group, has routinely fallen behind on tax, water, and utility bills.

We now know what happened last week, Eversource reportedly cut power to portions of the mall for a day because of unpaid bills.

The owner has been taken to court on a few occasions for not paying vendors.
Just this week, Louis Puyia filed a small claims case claiming the owner hasn't paid him some $577 in wages for time worked.

The district could be gifted the mall, buy it, or take it through legal takings. Any move forward is somewhat limited because of the legal ramifications the pending legislation hopes to resolve.

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission study will re-envision the 720.000 square-foot building sitting on 86.2 acres of land.

A preliminary scope of the work includes looking at senior housing, affordable housing, industrial use, urban agriculture, solar, sports facility, "reimagined retail," and a mixture of usages.

The property could always mix all of that. But, a mixed-use development tends to be more difficult, but also more advantageous for both tax revenue and jobs.

Other concepts presented have been a casino, convention center, and park space.

We asked on Facebook back in December what should be done with the mall, here are some of the ideas that were posted on our facebook page.

Renovate it into an elderly living home and community

Make it a convention center - conference rooms, hotel rooms, etc. Target, movie theater, restaurant, and retail and salon services can stay creating a more positive experience and opportunities for convention/conference attendees.
a concert venue. It's off the road, plenty of parking and traffic control. In order to go to a rock concert, people have to go to Springfield, Worcester or Albany.

A community for people with Alzheimer’s

Turn it into a massive roller skating rink.
Bring back the 80's.

Indoor Paint Ball Arena

It would be ideal for an indoor organic farm that would create fresh produce 365 days a year.

I think it would be perfect for a casino!

A bigger jail so the judges can put the dirtbags behind bars and not let them off because of overcrowding!

Close it! It’s useless to anyone at this point. Leave target free standing and that’s it.

Ice hockey facility! This is New England and the closest adult leagues are in Springfield

Elderly/ Homeless housing. Never have enough.

Make it all in one healthcare community -shopping center for retired citizen's?

Make it into a place where there are activities for teenagers. Like an airsoft arena
Housing, "the berk mall projects"

Make it into a retirement home, the elderly mall walkers are the only ones occupying the malls anyway.

Independent Wrestling is doing great things there! Support them and what is left at the Berkshire Mall!