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.