Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Neighborhood Shake Up?

So it will be interesting to see (and hear) how the immediate neighbors living near our economic Leviathan react to the news that Lincoln Apartments, which for over fifty years housed families, graduate students, UMass staff, and visiting faculty will now be accepting the dreaded "undergrads."

Well, maybe.  

According to a polite memo to the neighborhood from Lisa Queenin, Director of Community and Regional Legislative Relations: "With the housing pressures on campus and our desire to maximize all available housing options for both undergraduate and graduate students, we may open Lincoln Apartments as a housing option to senior undergraduates who choose to live in this quiet community"

Lincoln Apartments is contiguous with Fearing Street, which is located in the heart of the Gateway corridor leading to UMass from Amherst town center.  Frathouse Pi Kappa Alpha, the scene of violent fights this past weekend (earning them two $300 "Nuisance House" tickets from APD) is located on the corner of Fearing Street and North Pleasant Street and the worst party street in town, Phillips Street, is one street over.
 Lincoln Apartments top left, Pi Kappa Alpha middle right

Rowdy student party houses poisoning the neighborhood was reason #1 the Gateway Corridor Project-- a joint commercial/residential  mixed-use development between the town and UMass-- was derailed.

The two acre parcel of property (formerly "Frat Row") that was to be the crown jewel of the town/gown joint development is now also a potential site for additional housing, assuming the Gateway project does not arise from the dead.


Anonymous said...

My God! Undergrads in UMass housing. Perish the thought. This will not be Southwest. A smattering of undergrads won't make any difference.

LarryK said...

Let me guess: you do not live on Fearing Street or Lincoln Avenue.

1843 said...

I am a bit confused, wouldn't it be sensible for the students to live here as opposed to breaking into new neighborhoods? The University cannot (nor should) move from next to the neighborhoods, it has been around far longer then anyone currently living in those areas. I'd rather see the University patrol the area more and clamp down on the students themselves then have students move into apartments at random to become the towns problem. Contain and segregate the town in my book, UMass is large enough we should have our own grocery stores, restaurants, bars, etc. There is no need to interact with the town.

Anonymous said...

Larry, what people need to understand is that the reason why the university is doing this is because they are going to have more undergrads.

This is in addition to all the places where they already house them.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why anyone thinks there will be any graduate students left in Lincoln -- they intend to bill per person like they do in the North Apartments (not North Village Apartments) and this will make any other apartment in town cheaper for the married couples.

Rising undergraduate enrollment coupled with unprecedented demand for on-campus undergraduate student housing is compelling the University to expand its residence hall offerings for undergraduate students.

Note: "undergraduate students."
Note: "rising undergraduate enrollment."

Lincoln Housing Assignments

As space is available, rising senior undergraduates will be assigned to Lincoln.
Unless there is a requirement for special accommodation, documented and approved by the University Disability Services Office, current residents of under-occupied apartments will receive a roommate.

Apartments will be furnished for new residents and utilize the following occupancy model:
Efficiency Apartment: One resident
One-Bedroom Apartment: Two residents
Two-Bedroom Apartment: Two residents
Lincoln Apartments will be managed as part of our residence hall operations.

Lincoln rental rates are still being finalized, but will be adjusted to be more in line with residence hall rates. As a result, Lincoln rates, starting July 1, 2012, will increase more than they normally might.

My colleagues and I understand these changes may present inconvenience and challenges for some of you. We wish circumstances were different and did not have to go down this road. Unfortunately, they are not and we need to move forward with this plan.

Anonymous said...

One other thing to be aware of:

There are 105 apartments there, but only 90 parking spaces -- not a problem right now because about half of the tenants don't have cars.

But you put 200 undergrads in there, not only will each and every one of them have a car, but all their visiting friends will have them too.

Three neighborhood impacts:

1: More traffic on Lincoln Avenue. More traffic at night and on weekends, when there currently isn't much.

And you will have people stopping on Lincoln Avenue and repeatedly blowing their horn to tell their friends to come out.

2: All these cars are going to have to get parked somewhere and the nearest legal weekday place for an undergrad is down by the football stadium, more than a mile away.

3: If you live someplace, you have a right to drive your groceries home from the store, which would put a real crimp in some of the current approaches to alcohol enforcement. There is no way to establish probable cause tha the hockey bag full of 30 packs isn't instead full of groceries.

I know that Eddie Hull hasn't thought about this aspect...

Anonymous said...

"2: All these cars are going to have to get parked somewhere and the nearest legal weekday place for an undergrad is down by the football stadium, more than a mile away."

It's perfectly legal to park on the west side of Lincoln Avenue. That would actually mitigate the speeding problem too, since parked cars narrow the usable roadway. The traffic on Lincoln down by Amity has slowed considerably, thanks to the cars frequently parked on the street.

Anonymous said...

I thought that they changed it for only graduate students who can at the Lincoln Apartments?