Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gateway: A shift in focus

Kendrick Park: green triangle your left, center right: 2 L shaped buildings 1 parking garage on frat row, green common in front

After intensive discussion with stakeholders, town officials, ARA members and a diverse cross section of Amherst residents we now have a preliminary plan, and the focus has shifted a tad closer to Amherst town center with less emphasis on commercial development and no student undergraduate housing, thus allaying fears of downtown business owners concerned about competition and nearby neighbors fearing rowdy undergrads.

The former Frat Row would maintain green space, a "new common," on the entire strip of frontage contiguous with North Pleasant street (and a smaller green "plaza" on the other side of the street) with mixed-used buildings and a parking garage on the rear two thirds.

But the new shift in attention is now to the west side of Kendrick Park and the intersection of East Pleasant/North Pleasant/Triangle streets with hopes for a "signature building" on the rise overlooking the northern tip of Kendrick Park currently occupied by the University Lodge hotel owned by hotel magnate Curt Shumway,president of the Hampshire Hospitality Group, who carries the surname of one of the founding families of Amherst.
East Pleasant straight , North Pleasant (on your left) Kendrick Park southern end (center)

East and North Pleasant intersection looking towards UMass, hotel behind house

University Lodge (owned by Curt Shumway)

Final chance for public comment:

Saturday, 4/30 – Draft Plan Presentation

8:30–10:00 AM Review of Open House Results
10:00 AM–3:00 PM Finalize Plan
Finalize street design
Renderings and sketches
Finalize land use calculations
3:00–6:00 PM Printing & Powerpoint preparation
6:00 – 9:00 PM Draft Plan Presentation


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Please clarify. Is Shumway looking to sell this propety or are you taking it from him?

LarryK4 said...


Anonymous said...

would he be the developer of the new building?

LarryK4 said...

That would be nice but he probably does not want to spend a ton of money to compete with his other operations over in Hadley.

Anonymous said...

Look, Mr. Sunshine, preacher of transparency, quit being so coy. What is the story with that location. Who, What, When, Where?

LarryK4 said...

The property is owned by Curt Shumway, a well-liked guy from a prominent Amherst family with a savvy business acumen.

The property (let's face it, a tad tired compared to his Rt 9 operations only a few miles away)is currently valued at $663,800.

The ARA has about $20,000 left in it's bank accounts that were first opened in the early 1970s.

Our consultants seem to think getting "Urban Renewal" status from the state, which is a tool that allows us access to money (grants, loans etc) would be a challenge--so that means we can't take (not that we were looking to use our eminent domain powers)or buy property.

I can understand Curt's dilemma.

The current operation is profitable (our consultant said he tried to book a room there this weekend and it was full) so why tear it down and spend many millions to rebuild a "legacy building"?

Although it would be OUTSTANDING.

Anonymous said...

Caption of middle photo: isn't that intersection of E. Pleasant and TRIANGLE Sts.?

LarryK4 said...

No, Triangle is down a bit on the right, almost where the car is in the photo (if we are talking the second picture down, under the map photo with doodles ).

Photo below that (3rd one down) is the intersection of E Pleasant North Pleasant (looking towards UMass) and Triangle

Anonymous said...

why is it that only out-of-town consultants actually listen to residents and parents?