Monday, February 27, 2012

Party House brewing?

314 Lincoln Ave, Amherst (note Southwest towers looming in backyard)

Today's Gazette Property Transfer notices contain a brief entry the average reader would barely notice--unless of course you live on Lincoln Avenue in the shadow of our local Juggernaut, UMass.

Marie E. Desch, Richard M Gold, to Comm Properties LLC, 314 Lincoln Ave, Amherst $450,000.

"Comm Properties LLC" is owned by Chad O'Rourke of Hadley who also owns Pipeline Properties, manager of my very first Party House winner.   In fact, at the Zoning Board hearings last September,  Hilda Greenbaum asked Mr. O'Rourke how many properties he owns or manages?  Fifty four (54).  And he was the property manager of 314 Lincoln Avenue before buying it. 

One abutter presented a petition signed by 18 area property owners who asked the ZBA to either require the property revert back to the original "one family," or require it be "owner occupied" for two family.  Numerous other abutters testified to concerns of noise, lousy landscaping and deferred maintenance leading to a less pleasing curb appeal. 

Interestingly the parties involved with the sale submitted a letter of complaint between hearings requesting ZBA member Greenbaum be taken off the case due to a conflict of interest.  Hilda Greenbaum or her family owns approximately 70 rental properties in town; but since she does not own anything near 314 Lincoln Avenue, the complaint was ignored.

Since the property was once a fraternity the previous change to a 2 family (allowing 8 tenants) was deemed less of an impact on the neighborhood than the original fraternity.  Since Mr. O'Rourke is a long time provider of student rental housing, the ZBA approved maintaining "two family" status, and the $450,000 deal was done.

Another Pipeline Party House winner


Anonymous said...

Thank you Larry for opening the eye's of many blind property owners who pay absurd taxes in this is only a matter of time before we see houses pictured on your sight from Chestnut St. (4 student rentals on this road so far, and 4 more on abutting side streets) So sad when buses drive down the street to drop off at Middle School and Chestnut St. is littered with beer cans, booze bottles and trash at 7 AM ........Only in Amherst!!!

Anonymous said...

Trash is all over Amherst. I think it's more noticeable this winter because we have no snow (aside from today). Do we not have town employees who clean-up litter, pizza boxes, and red beer cups that are discarded on public streets? I'm really tired of acting as a custodian for these slobs.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you are missing the big one on Lincoln Ave -- UMass is retasking Lincoln Apartments (105 units) from the "apartments" they currently are to "residence halls" for undergraduates -- where they will put 2 into each bedroom of each apartment.

What this will mean that what is now a quiet community of largely International graduate students will become home for a couple hundred undergraduates. Party central.

Remember that Lincoln Apts is the buffer between Southwest and town -- the fraternity that used to be a sorority abuts Lincoln Apts.

If I lived on Lincoln Ave, Fearing Street, Allen Avenue, or essentially anywhere between the Baptist Church and Downtown, I would be really really worried about this.

The justification is that they intend to increase the size of the freshman class next year and need the dorms for them. And how will Amherst be affected by the additional hundreds of kids from Jersey who are attending UM to party and because they couldn't get in anywhere else?