Sunday, March 6, 2011
Downtown Deja Vu
Boltwood Place, a mixed use $4 million showcase, immediately behind Judie's restaurant and just in front of the Boltwood Walk Parking Garage is a downtown dream project about to come true for co-developer David Williams (who is also co-owner of that iconic restaurant.)
A dream that started over twenty five years ago with Amity Place, an ambitious $3.5 million dollar development only a stone's throw away, that failed in 1983 to garner the required two-thirds vote of Town Meeting necessary for a zoning change.
Williams, an architect, had assurances of a $1.4 million federal Urban Development Action Grant for a multi-level parking garage that would be blocked from view on Amity Street by upscale retail/office space and screened along the side by the Amherst Cinema and on South Prospect Street by eight plush condominiums--thus a forerunner of "mixed use," the current hot template for Amherst development.
So when Mr. Williams, a long-time Amherst resident, is quoted in the Springfield Republican saying, "We got so much good cooperation. This town has really changed," he is the quintessential voice of experience.
Gateway Project supporters hope these positive winds of change continue to blow...
Amity Place would have occupied the town owned metered parking lot and what is now Peoples Bank flush with the Amherst Cinema