The final report from our consultant Giani Longo is scheduled for presentation on 6/29 to a joint meeting of the Amherst Planning Board and the ARA at an open public meeting--an official unveiling, minus the drumroll.
The ARA hopes to receive a draft copy hot off the Internet a week or so before the public presentation and will make that available to the general public as well.
The scope of the project was somewhat constrained when predominant public opinion envisioned less dense development on the 2 acre parcel UMass owns, still referred to as "Frat Row" even though the five frat houses are long gone.
One of the sub-consultants also thought adjacent property in the corridor was not slummy enough to be considered "blighted" (although Phillips Street stood out as "decadent") which is required for the ARA to attain 'Urban Renewal' status that brings with it federal money and easier use of imminent domain powers.
Unfortunately our colleagues from UMass, Deputy Chancellor Todd Diacon and Director of External Relations Nancy Buffone missed this meeting as they are attending a four day conference in Colorado hosted by the International Town & Gown Association, where one of the major topics of discussion will be how to control rowdy student behavior in otherwise quiet neighborhoods.
Deputy Chancellor Todd Diacon center
When the topic of "new business" came up, the entire committee opposed even considering other projects besides Gateway and agreed that even if reduced in scope this project can still be a signature development of premier proportions.