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Chicopee business owners ponder next move after their building is ordered to close

More than 50 businesses at a former mill complex in Chicopee are trying to figure out their next moves. That's after city officials this week deemed three buildings unsafe and ordered them to be vacated.

An order from the Chicopee Building Department is posted on the door of one of the Cabotville Mill buildings.
Adam Frenier
/
NEPM
An order from the Chicopee Building Department is posted on the door of one of the Cabotville Mill buildings.

An order from the Chicopee Building Department was posted all around one of the buildings Tuesday morning. It said the structures at Cabotville Mill lack a fully functional sprinkler system, posing a risk to tenants and emergency personnel alike in case of a fire.

The notice said businesses have to cease operations, and have until the end of the month to remove their belongings.

Deena Peters co-owns an art studio, which has been located in one of the buildings since 2020.

"We had COVID, and we've been struggling with that and trying to make it here and get the people to come in," Peters said. "When things start to look up, boom, we're hit again."

Peters said she's looking for a new location, but that it's going to take more than a month to secure one and move everything.

The inside of an art studio in one of the Cabotville Mill buildings in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier
/
NEPM
The inside of an art studio in one of the Cabotville Mill buildings in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Moving was also on the mind of Nate Tochilnikov. He, along with his father Boris, run a denture manufacturer downstairs from the art studio, which has been in the same location for 14 years.

"Last minute ... have to find a new place, moving, figuring out how we're going to move all of this stuff, so much technology, so many supplies here," Tochilnikov said. "It's a big, big headache."

The owners of Cabotville, 4 Perkins LLC, reportedly proposed to create up to 600 apartments on the site, along with commercial space. The Republican reported the project stalled, however, and when the company looked to get permits for the project renewed, the building's issues came to light.

A request for comment from 4 Perkins manager Aaron Papowicz was not returned.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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