Coming soon to downtown Amherst?
I was one of 106 recipients -- a virtual who's who of Amherst committee members, town and state officials, journalists, developers, landlords and business owners -- to receive this email from David Willliams on Sunday.
It has come to our attention that Landmark Properties has represented to property owners near our Kendrick Place project in Downtown that they have purchased the land/project from us.
This email is to confirm that this is completely false It is dishonest and it completely conflicts with our long term commitment to our hometown Amherst.
To the contrary, for our Kendrick Place project we are proceeding with selection of a contractor, we have secured LOCAL equity, and we are finalizing terms with a LOCAL bank.
I've lived in Amherst for 44 years. I am not interested in flipping any of my projects to outside developers.
On the contrary, Kyle and I are working very hard to deliver projects of the absolute highest quality, projects that further the objectives of the town and our higher education institutions, projects we will own for the long term, projects that you have given us the approvals to build.
I in no way will breach your trust.
My initial reaction? Yikes!
Because if Landmark Properties, an out-of-town developer, had indeed lied in an attempt to gain a negotiation advantage it would certainly cast a pall on their other controversial proposed development, The Retreat (170 units) in Northeast Amherst.
And since there are a boatload of NIMBYs hoping for them to fail at that proposed development this act of treachery would be well received -- and instantly promoted.
One of the major properties sought after by Landmark Properties
Landmark is actively pursuing a five-story, 100-150 unit major development in town center (a little smaller than "The Standard at Athens") and indeed has signed a Letter Of Intent with a large commercial property owner at the north end of town center.
And they did indeed contact Archipelago Investments LLC about adding the proposed Kendrick Place site to the mix.
Another major property sought by Landmark Properties
But they sternly deny ever misrepresenting ownership of any property in Amherst. Obviously if Landmark follows through with this project it will be a major competitor to not only the proposed Kendrick Place (26 units) but Archipelago's other proposed development, Olympia Place (200 beds).
Kendrick Place proposed site abutting the rear of Bertucci's
At the very least, having housing developers fighting with each other to develope projects means the #1 problem in our little "college town" -- the housing shortage -- is, finally, being addressed.
Adjacent Carriage Shops possibly up for grabs