Monday, January 31, 2011

Gateway supporters show resolve

left to right: Todd Diacon, John Musante, Jonathan Tucker

If nothing else tonight's Amherst Redevelopment Authority meeting reaffirmed the strong partnership already forged between the ARA, Umass and the town, as Deputy Chancellor Todd Diacon and Town Manager John Musante clarified their vision for the Gateway Project before the ARA and a packed room of 50 onlookers, many of them concerned neighbors defending their backyards from the perceived spectre of the college town bogeyman: undergraduates.

Musante outlined four main objectives:

1) Create a development that the community wants.

2) Strengthen the neighborhood by constructing higher end housing to compete with seedy substandard slums.

3) Increase the towns tax base, stimulate jobs and bring customers to the downtown via the Gateway corridor.

4) Give the town a significant say in what gets developed there because indeed something is going to get developed one way or the other.

Deputy Chancellor Diacon called the Gateway a "signature attraction at the entrance to our campus". And to counter the constant complaint from neighbors about substantial undergrad student housing being a core requirement of the deal, Diacon pointed out the University is currently constructing 1,500 beds for the Commonwealth Honors College in the heart of the campus which goes a long way towards alleviating the needs for undergraduate housing.

If Gateway is built and the doesn't include undergraduates in the apartments that would "fine with us." The University is not demanding the housing be "only for undergraduates."

In his closing remarks, borrowing a them from President Obama (who borrowed it from 'Bob The Builder'), the Town Manager said confidently "I think we can do this. We have the talent. We can do something pretty special along North Pleasant Street."

Out of the four proposals received to lead the vision process, the ARA hopes to select a consultant by March 1st.
View from the head table


Anonymous said...

"bring costumers to the downtown via the Gateway corridor."

No surprise they are "costumers", this whole thing is promoted by a bunch of clowns.

LarryK4 said...

Thanks for the copy edit. Typo corrected. It was a tad late last night when I cranked out the hot copy.

Anonymous said...

Presently, the only thing to buy downtown is either food or expensive Italian fashion ...

There is absolutely no reason for a "Townie" who doesn't work in the center to go to the center. Remember when there was a grocery store, a hardware store in Town? Oh, wait: you can still buy a paper at Hastings ...

Anonymous said...

strip club

I knead some teats

LarryK4 said...

I think you're more in need of manners.

Anonymous said...

I think the saying needs to be changed a bit.

"They will come, if you build it."

See Village Commons in South Hadley.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, that's exactly what I have in mind.

Anonymous said...

"See Village Commons in South Hadley"

Which has limped along as a failed experiment.

Anonymous said...

Umass anarchists at it again:

Ed said...

Umass anarchists at it again:

And yes, the schmuck does attend UMass:
Name: Manuel E Pintado
Phone: 413 512 0781
Major: Sociology (BA)

But did you read the story? He is a 47-year-old Northampton resident who used the wireless connection at Starbucks to make his threats -- why are you blaming some 20,000 other people for him?

Would it be any less bigoted prejudice for me to turn around and say that anyone who patronizes Starbucks (or Rayo's) is responsible for this? Is equally likely to do it?

This guilt-by-association stuff has gone a bit too far. It is like blaming every gay male for the Curley murder...

Ed said...

The fascism (and that is what it is) that I saw last night was truly frightening.

You want UMass to "control" the students. You want UMass to "control" the students wherever they are.

What you all fail to understand is that a university powerful enough to do this can also "control" the staff and faculty. Employees do not have the same rights that students do, courts are quite clear on this, and you all really want to be careful what you ask for.

Ed King was elected Governor, John Silbur nearly elected as well, both Democrats. Deval Patrick has made UMass much more controllable by the corner office and the next Governor could well be a very conservative one.

In giving UMass the power to "control" the students, you are setting the precedent where it could "control" all of you as well. Unlike student rights, academic freedom is not a Constitutional protection -- and the Great & General Court could pass a law tomorrow that any UMass employee who criticizes the Governor shall be fired. It would be perfectly legal and with the precedent set that UMass power extends to your home, quite chilling.

Be very careful what you ask for because you might just get it...