A major redevelopment project will soon be starting at the old Paramount Theater in Springfield.
Plans are underway for the $40 million project which will restore the historic theater and convert the adjoining building into a boutique hotel.
Developer Heriberto Flores of the New England Farm Workers Council thinks big.
"All this area is going to be changed, this is an historic building, this goes back to 1846, the abolitionists used to meet over here," said Flores.
The historic Paramount Theater, in later years renamed the Hippodrome and the Massasoit Building.
The theater will be restored to its original, historic grandeur, all the way to its Tiffany chandeliers.
"In that place are chandeliers, Tiffany originals from 1929, you can not buy that today," Flores added.
Besides the development of the Paramount, the Massasoit property will be converted into an 85-room boutique hotel.
It is an ambitious project that gives the downtown area some new life to go along with MGM's $960 million casino.
Flores sees this as a win-win.
"I had this discussion with Mike Mathis from MGM the other day and as he put it it's like bookends, we have bookends over here and MGM over there," Flores noted.
Across the street from the Paramount Theater building is Springfield's newly renovated $94 million Union Station.
"At one time, Springfield was the number two city in New England. If we're going to do that we have the whole downtown. The whole city and for us we have to start thinking differently," Flores continued.
It is that vision that Flores said will help be part of what he called the 'rebirth of Springfield'.
That rebirth, Flores said, will not only help Springfield but the entire region.
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