SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

July 31, 2013

Classroom consolidation

Montserrat to move three spaces into one building

BY ETHAN FORMAN
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — The several-block walk is over for Montserrat College of Art students.

Montserrat is consolidating three of its downtown spaces into the former wealth management side of People’s United Bank at 248 Cabot St., according to a statement from the college.

In September, the Illustration and Liberal Arts departments will move into 36,000 square feet in the wealth management building, under a lease with Goldberg Properties. Jo Broderick, dean of college relations and special assistant to President Steve Immerman, said workers are presently fitting out the spaces to be occupied.

“We are happy to be more of a presence downtown,” Broderick said.

Under the agreement, the college will pay property taxes to Beverly to the tune of $36,000 a year, she said. The United Way of the North Shore and Beverly Main Streets will remain as tenants at 248 Cabot St.

The lease with Goldberg Properties will allow the college to consolidate six classrooms spread over three buildings under one roof. A number of faculty and staff offices will also be moved there.

“It’s just a whole compilation of little moves, along with the classrooms,” Broderick said.

Anna Schuleit Haber, the National Endowment for the Arts grant winner and designer of “The Beverly Oracle” public arts project, will have studio space as a visiting artist at Montserrat in this building, Broderick said. There will also be space for a student intern.

Beverly assessment records also list the building’s address as 246 Cabot St.

The college had been leasing space in a brightly painted storefront at 269 Cabot St., the former Sun Tan Studio next to the Atomic Cafe; a two-story building at 236-238 Cabot St. and a second-floor space in the Oddfellows Building at 194 Cabot St. It’s approximately two-tenths of a mile walk from 269 Cabot St. to 194 Cabot St.

“The consolidation of classroom space in downtown Beverly shows our continued commitment to the city and the downtown,” Immerman said in a prepared statement. “As active supporters of Beverly Main Streets’ initiatives to increase downtown viability, Montserrat is thrilled to move faculty, students and staff into this great Cabot Street space.”

Immerman thanked Goldberg Properties and the college’s attorney, Miranda Gooding, who is also a trustee, for coming up with a workable agreement for all parties.

“We have had many positive relationships with downtown landlords over the years, and we are very excited about our new, larger space for our community,” Immerman said.

“We view the college as a huge asset and economic driver for downtown Beverly,” said Andrew Goldberg of Goldberg Properties in a statement. “We wish Montserrat continued success and look forward to working with them at this new location.” Goldberg Properties also owns 236-238 Cabot St., and Goldberg said in an interview that there is interest in these spaces, especially with Montserrat taking such a large space downtown.

“It’s going to make the interest higher,” Goldberg said.

Montserrat was founded in 1970, and today has about 380 students and 63 faculty members.

Beverly-based Goldberg Properties acquired the wealth management building next to the iconic former Beverly National Bank building from People’s United for $1.4 million in October 2012.

The college’s plans do not involve the bank building at 240 Cabot St., which Goldberg also purchased for $1.4 million at the same time. Beverly National expanded to this second building in 1984. People’s United acquired the two buildings when it bought the former Danversbank in June 2011, after Danversbank bought Beverly National in 2009.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.