Sunday, March 6, 2011

Downtown Deja Vu


Winter, 2011

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

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amity Place would have violated the terms of use of the land that was the condition the lot was donated to the town under.

LarryK4 said...

So it just remains a surface parking lot.

Anonymous said...

funny you should mention it, academy square, bach's spirit frame proposal for the same amity place site not only streamlined with projected streetscape improvements along amity, (gaining 2 parking spaces overall, while the town engineers propsal lost spaces) provided a sensible and aestheitic crosswalk from the library to the metered lot/ cinema, created a vibrant urban space in the downtown, payed homage to tha Amherst academy ( the kernel of education in the pioneer valley), and complied with the deed restriction of the site which requires an educational component for any development on that site.

apparrently that was too reasonable of a solution for the powers that be.

Anonymous said...

btw, that is great for the downtown, perhaps the boltwood project will inject the town with new vigor, as the slumlords have driven out tenants with high rent.

Anonymous said...

Where will the residents of Boltwood Place park their chariots?

Anonymous said...

judie's
overpriced underportioned meals for amherst's elite

Anonymous said...

lk

FYI I think that last picture, assuming it is the map, is slowing load times tremendously and actually crashes my smartphone. perhaps change whatever it is to a smaller sized image?

Anonymous said...

that's better, thx

Anonymous said...

"judie's
overpriced underportioned meals for amherst's elite"

There's a jealous one in every crowd. Underportioned? Their portions are huge. Loser.