Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Amherst's Twin Towers

Boltwood Place under construction August, 2011

Boltwood Place, Amherst's first downtown tall building in more than a generation, will soon have a sister clone rising into the not so rarefied air, only in this case not quite as close in proximity as those iconic Twin Towers knocked down on 9/11.

Kendrick Place lot (near Bertucci's)

Archipelago Investments LLC will go before the Planning Board on September 18 seeking approval for Kendrick Place -- a five story, mixed used building located at the very Gateway to UMass on the corner of Triangle Street and East Pleasant directly opposite Kendrick Park.

 Boltwood Place today

The views alone from the Penthouse suites will be worth the lease payments.

The new building will also be LEED certified, and co-developer David Williams is hoping for Platinum Certification one step up from Boltwood Place's Gold Certification.

Kyle Wilson standing, David Williams seated

Archipelago is currently before the Planning Board seeking a Special Permit for the construction of a 75 unit, 236 bed dormitory style development on Olympia Drive known as Olympia Place.  The private (therefor on the tax rolls) student housing project would replace a run down rowdy frat house.

These visionaries also instigated the joint project between UMass and the Amherst Redevelopment Authority for the ill fated Gateway Project, a mixed use plan that would have created badly needed student housing and high end commercial space in a prime location connecting UMass to Amherst downtown.

Archipelago Investments LLC is transforming the landscape of Amherst -- both figuratively and literally.  It's about time. 


The Gazette caught up with this story about 8 hours later (on the web) and it appears in print today, Wednesday.  Odd headline.  Originally they used "Second Apartment Building Proposed For downtown Amherst" but then changed it before going to print.

1:00 PM
Now they've changed the digital headline for a 3rd time (much better) and added this nifty stock photo.  But they can't exactly recall the 20,000 or so printed editions delivered this morning with the odd "ups ante" headline.  


Walter Graff said...

It is about time! The bubble Amherst lives in is finally breaking. And now the NIMBYS can take a break from reading books and save some new and "historic" part of town. Kinda thinkin' that land next to Bertucci's is historic somehow. Oh they'll find something. Maybe a cannonball will end up being "found" in the lot.

Anonymous said...

Walter, that lot once held a big old house that became a used furniture store (Paul's Old Time, I think). Not sure if the nimby's can turn that into grounds for protected status.

It will be nice to see that part of downtown getting vibrant again. Maybe new life can be breathed into the Carriage shops too.

Walter Graff said...

That would have been before my time. I came around in 1998. I agree, some development and new places to go in that part of town are needed. Bertucci's will enjoy the company too.

Paula Barrows said...

Walter, 1998 huh? I've been here since the day I was born in the sixties. My family has lived in this area for much more than a century. There are people who actually love this town the way it is. People actually move here because of its charm. Buildings that are of similar architecture to those already established is fine but this proposal is not at all inline with that ideal.

Anonymous said...

The boltwood building is hideous. I hope that a similar building isn't approved for that corner. YIKES!

Larry Kelley said...

And you're an Anon, so nobody cares what you think.

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree with the concept but I do agree with Anon 101. The Boltwood building is hideous and I hope the new building is more pleasing to the eye. I think new development is great but please let's not go the way of the Boltwood building.
And Larry you don't care what Anons say if they don't agree with your idea of the perfect world. When they do agree all of a sudden the Anon's comment is a thing of beauty.

Larry Kelley said...

Criticism has more gravitas if it comes from an identified source.

Walter Graff said...

Well Paula, one of the disadvantages of living in a town all your life is a phenomenon known in the psychology world that involves you hating change. Since your fondness and memories are tied to the past you think change will make your life worse.

Like most Amherst NIMBYs nostalgia is often experienced as a loss or longing for what has now gone or is about to be as in The Retreat.

Psychologists give a few reasons why nostalgia is important.

1# It fights the boredom. When people are bored they use nostalgia to give their lives meaning. Thinking about the past helps them feel that life has more purpose in the present. This seems like a perfect description of the NIMBYS in Amherst.

#2 Nostalgia fights loneliness. When people are nostalgic, nine out of ten times it involves other people. As social creatures, nostalgia helps remind us of our connections to others and staves off loneliness. Since Amherst is such a socially mundane town it makes perfect sense that folks clog the town meetings each week to escape the banal existence in these parts to complain about what was and what should not be. They can team up and make new friends with the neighbors. What is strange is that they are fighting the very thing that might make them even happier... progress.

#3 Nostalgia fights mortality. When people are exposed to all-to-common reminders of illness and death that creep up on everyone, they fight it with nostalgia, which again brings meaning and connection with others. When people can remember a wooded area where salamanders rule, or an empty lot in town they can recall in days past, they can feel young and not have to think about their age.

I for one agree that current building in downtown is hideous, has no architectural or visually redeeming values when contrasted with the 1960's look of Amherst and to build a second one next to Bertucci's will make that lifeless area of Amherst stick out like a sore thumb. Or should I say the building.

Oh I know it's green compliant. Save the earth at the expense of aesthetics. Wait till folks in this town finally discover that global warming or whatever term Al Gore (1969 Harvard BA Political Science) is using these days is politically motivated concoction.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, so please explain why why our founding fathers wrote under pseudonyms?

Larry Kelley said...

To avoid a musket ball between the eyes.

Larry Kelley said...

Thus those who signed their names to the Declaration of Independence had pretty big balls.

Walter Graff said...

Famous names like Hamilton, and Madison were sworn to secrecy in the Convention so not allowed to tell anyone anything. By using a pseudonym, they were able to discuss the Constitution more freely knowing their identities were not going to be divulged.

But that doesn't reflect in any way on the pussies here who hide behind anonymous. The founding fathers of this country had balls and made change work. The anonymous here have no balls and can't even change the shitty government of Amherst.

CindaJones said...

So exciting. Yes that was Paul's Old Time Furniture when I was a kid. Thanks Kyle and Dave for progressing this town!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it has crossed a number of folks minds that being anonymous on this blog is a safety issue. There are some seriously deranged folks on here, to name just a few- Walter, Ed, Larry.

Larry Kelley said...

Said the Cowardly Anon Nitwit who comes here every day to troll.

Anonymous said...

wow. "paul's old time furniture" is a name i haven't heard in a while! nearly forgot about them.

as a native of amherst i disagree with armchair psychological analysis dismissing outright amherst natives resistant to change because of something other than legitimate reasons. but, as a townie, i'm used to the self imagined "intellectual" class dismissing the opinions of the other part of amherst's culture- the traditional yankee/working class/townie.

just maybe some townies have lived here long enough to see high-minded people of all spots come in and foist their agenda upon this town only to see, bit by bit, the soul of amherst die off. a wise person becomes skeptical of changes that cannot be undone.

i am a fan of all types of architecture but that thing at boltwood is an unmitigated eyesore. and... we are stuck with it.

i am for building next to the old amherst/chrysler/plymouth but hope whatever is put there is not yet another edifice offering to amherst's Identity crisis.


Walter Graff said...

"but, as a townie, i'm used to the self imagined "intellectual" class dismissing the opinions of the other part of amherst's culture- the traditional yankee/working class/townie"

This is a great quote!!

Sasha said...

Are you kidding me? Boltwood Place a lovely example of modernist architecture... What I wonder is how the Bank of America building ever came to be in Amherst. Talk about an eyesore...

Anonymous said...

Walter, why don't you re-read what Paula wrote before you analyze her. She didn't say don't put anything there. You pretty much agreed with her by saying "I for one agree that current building in downtown is hideous, has no architectural or visually redeeming values when contrasted with the 1960's look of Amherst and to build a second one next to Bertucci's will make that lifeless area of Amherst stick out like a sore thumb. Or should I say the building." All you did was make yourself look like a pompous ass.

Nate said...

Not sure what the objection to this project could be if one believes we have a shortage of student housing, believes in environmentally sustainable architecture, agrees we'd be better off with property tax relief, and wants development located in town centers. This project--from a highly responsible developer--is precisely what Amherst needs. Very exciting.

Walter Graff said...

I too welcome the new building, just hope it looks a bit more in line with the Greenwich Village-like building that sits out-of-place in the center of town. Then the town will have two buildings that actually go well together. Yes the Bank of America looks like it was designed by Lego. The strip to the left of it would be better off catching fire so they could build new facades. What a visually un-stunning place. Lacks any charm or character. With these two new buildings they ought to think about a renovation of the rest of town as it looks like a scene out of "Goodbye Columbus".

Anonymous said...

So someone explains that posting anonymously is for reason of safety to which lk responds with name calling and ridicule

Thanks lk for confirming such a concern

Larry Kelley said...

Anytime, CAN.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic, but whatever. Hear me out.

The reason, Mr. Kelley, that so few people are comfortable using their names on your admittedly popular blog is that you so vociferously demean whoever you disagree with in the public domain. O'Keefe and any other official or citizen you have determined to be against your flag-on-your-sleeve opinions, are dragged throught he mud on your site. Why subject oneself to that kind of scrutiny?

Knowing you, the first thing you'd do is make a public records request and find any dirt you can. No one trusts you.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, don't you just hate it when public documents become public.

Or as then Select Board Chair Gerry Weiss once said "Mr. Kelley has had a chilling effect on this board ... It makes my work hard."


Anonymous said...

LK conflates

having a chilling effect


being cool

Larry Kelley said...

Ice, ice baby!

They're not even in the same league said...

"No one trusts you."

Trusts him so they may do what?

Come here with endless lies, distortions and pro-Ponziville insider propaganda?

Um, nice try.

Larry is the best thing that's happened to this dump in over half a century.

I believe positive "historic" change (locally) will be attributed (eventually) to his efforts directly (as it should be) for ~many~ years to come.

Further, Larry's approach may be utilized by ~anyone~ seeking positive change in their own community, where ever they are.

He's that good (and you know it).

Great work Larry.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the work that Archipelago is doing in our town. Smart, green, well tailored to our needs and functioning to enhance our tax base. Who could ask for more?

Anonymous said...

Not even in the same league - you are essentially anonymous so no one cares what you think.

Larry Kelley said...

Not sure who you are responding to, but I just love it when an Anon calls out an Anon for being an Anon.

The mighty Roach Patrol is no CAN said...

"Not even in the same league - you are essentially anonymous so no one cares what you think."

Nah, I've met Larry actually.

When I shook his hand I told him my real name.

How many of you chimps can say that???

Anonymous said...

I can. Pass the banana.

Anonymous said...

What you folks don't understand is that the Higher Ed Bubble is bursting and, well....

Mom said...

I live on a short street named Kendrick Place on the other end of the center of town. I believe that to have an apartment building with the exact same name as our street would create confusion. I do not feel that I have to explain why I object to the same name. Does Mr. Kendrick have a first name? add that to Kendrick...or make it Kendrick commons, square etc. Joann Griswold