Monday, April 22, 2013

And Another One Falls

 1190 North Pleasant Street, Amherst (taken from Meadow Street)

The man with more LLCs than M&Ms have colors just added another trophy to his growing collection of Amherst rental units, this one in the heart of North Amherst center on the corner of Meadow and North Pleasant, two street names synonymous with student rentals and the all too familiar aftermath:  Disruption.

Jamie Cherewatti, aka Eagle Crest Management, aka East Pleasant Street Partners LLC,  just purchased 1190 North Pleasant, formerly Watroba's General store before they moved down the street a short ways and indeed, a student rental for the past few years anyway.

This makes the second time in a row he has coughed up well over assessed value for a property, paying $3 million for Echo Village Apartments (valued at $2.1 million) back in January.  And now this property, paying $495,000 -- more than ten times what Watroba paid for it in 1972 -- and $113,400 over its current assessed value.

Of course the assessor does not instantly increase the valuation based on this selling price, so the taxes paid to Amherst will remain around the same:  $8,000 next year.  But if he should buy the property next door and overpay by 33%, then perhaps the assessed values would increase.  "A rising tide lifts all boats"

Or if he should do renovations, but since the property is already a "two family," highly unlikely.  For instance Cherewatti purchased 156 Sunset Avenue for $350,000 two years ago as a "one family" dwelling, but then subdivided the home, added a little landscaping and morphed it -- with ZBA permission -- into a two family home, where 8 unrelated residents can legally reside.

The valuation has since increased to $404,000 or $8,000 in taxes paid to the town annually -- but the rental income doubled.  And with average rents in Amherst almost $2,000 per month, that doubling adds up pretty quickly.

Meanwhile just down the road in the historic neighborhood of Cushman, also located in North Amherst, red stop signs are springing up everywhere opposing "The Retreat," a 170 unit high-end student housing development.

The Village of Cushman

But the real enemy is not large corporate owned, professionally managed dense developments like "The Retreat".  It is instead the steady sprinkling of Mom-and-Pop operations that have creeped in under the radar.  The enemy within.


Anonymous said...


At the meeting with Landmark they mentioned building 191 units, not the 170 previously cited.

Anonymous said...

He (or is it they) bought a money pit! That building always needs repairs and repainting (and its not that its neglected- I think it has moisture issues- so paint doesn't adhere)

Anonymous said...

anon 10:17 he didn't buy it to live in, he bought it to rent. I highly doubt doing repairs and paint are high on his list filling it to capacity is. As far as mildew smell have you ever been in a student rental? Mildew smell is like an air freshener in some of these LOL!

Anonymous said...

I used to think all of this push back for more housing was a bad idea. Now I am not so sure. If the towns people keep pushing back and the need keeps growing, at some point the economics will win out. Maybe this could raise our housing prices so I could finally get out without loosing my shirt.

Anonymous said...

There was a morning raid at hobart, you should research what happened

Larry Kelley said...

Which morning?

Anonymous said...

"But the real enemy is not large corporate owned, professionally managed dense developments like "The Retreat". It is instead the steady sprinkling of Mom-and-Pop operations that have creeped in under the radar. The enemy within.

I find this completely offensive. You have turned this from a complaint about a band landlord into proclaiming that small landlords, which have been a part of Amherst for forever are "the enemy." Well, I'm a small landlord and Amherst resident. I've never had a single complaint brought against me and I pay tens of thousand in taxes a year. I didn't creep into anything and in fact was here before you. The hundreds of small landlords in Amherst deserve an apology for that statement.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually I doubt you were here before me. My mother was a small landlord and Amherst resident in the early 60s.

Larry Kelley said...

And my great, great grandfather ran a rooming house for Iriish immigrants in the 18th century at Kelley Square.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 7:59. Don't you know Larry NEVER apologizes for ANYTHING?! He is all-knowing, all-perfect and always right! A diety in our midst!

Larry Kelley said...

And I make no apology for that!

Anonymous said...

I've been in Amherst a long time, as were my parents and grandparents, and one thing I learned from them was when someone drags their besainted mother into the conversation it's usually cover for having put their foot in their mouth.

Larry Kelley said...

Methinks thou doth protest too much. (or however Shakespeare put it)

Anonymous said...


Me thinks I don't protest enough!

Larry Kelley said...

Oh, I'm sure you will be stepping up your game over the next month.

But to no avail.

The permit bylaw will pass, so get used to it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not complaining about the permit. I'm saying that being called the enemy is a funny way to bring people together to work for a solution.

Larry Kelley said...

"The enemy" has had plenty of time to come to the table and did not.

So I don't worry in the least about alienating you. I mean them.

Anonymous said...

"But the real enemy is not large corporate owned, professionally managed dense developments like "The Retreat"."

Do you even read your own blog?

Let's see, thousand of drunken students at Townhouse Apartments, which required a huge police response.

A fire at Rolling Green.

Students housed in an illegal basement room at an apartment complex where there was a fire.

Larry Kelley said...

The last one I don't really consider a "complex" but now that you mention it, I suppose it is.

Rolling Green is actually a well run "complex" (as is The Brook and Puffton Village). An exhaustive inspection in the aftermath of the killer fire at Rolling Green found no major problems, unlike Gilreath Manor.

I also don't consider Townhouse to be a "complex" per say, since all the units are individually owned.

Rather than taking Echo Village Apartments by eminent domain, the town (or ARA) should take Townhouse, flatten it and start over.

Same for Phillips Street.