Friday, August 29, 2014

Building With A View

Looking north from above The Trolley Barn, North Amherst

The Trolley Barn, Amherst's newest mixed-use building, is ready for (full) occupancy after only one construction season, although many hurdles were overcome before first breaking ground.

Kuhn Riddle design, Integrity Development construction gurus

The $2 million 12,000 square foot three-story building will provide 4,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor hosting up to three small businesses.  

The upper two floors are divided into a total of four 4-bedroom apartments, two per floor (although Cinda Jones said she is in negotiation with a party who may rent the entire top floor).

 Recessed sprinkler (right), smoke detector (left)
Full sized $70,000 elevator, ready to handle furniture move in

 Since the building is greater than 7,500 square feet it has an elevator and a nifty sprinkler system that provides both form and function. The sprinkler heads are retracted flush with the ceiling until needed (should the beast come calling), and they then drop down to douse the fire.

Without the sprinkler heads sticking out, tenants cannot use them as clothes hangers, which drives the Fire Department crazy.  But it doesn't come cheap, as the cost for the entire building was $85,000.

Since Town Meeting did not approve zoning tweaks last year the building is limited to only two units per floor which means l-o-t-s of room (2,000 square feet) per apartment.

 Kitchen common area

 Each individual bedroom has its own private bathroom, with four bedrooms per apartment.  Rent is $800/bedroom.

Double Vision:  two bedrooms side by side
What light through yonder window breaks?
First development of many in The Mill District



Dr. Ed said...

Please tell me that they are going to remove that red/orange cover off the smoke detector.

Seriously. I went into Suffolk Law School for an event once and noticed that ALL of the detectors still had the shipping covers on them (and wouldn't work). That was in Boston -- in a building that was then 10 years old...

I'm not making this up....

Larry Kelley said...

They were still doing last minute construction this morning, so the covers were on to protect the units from dust.

Coming off later today I'm told.

Dr. Ed said...

I love the "last minute construction" excuse...

Well maybe the ones in the UMass library have been removed by now -- I raised that issue with them -- and like UMass always does, they retaliated against me instead of taking them off.

Hey AFD -- some night about 4 AM when things have slowed down and you are looking for something to do, take the elevator up to the 20th or 22nd floor and walk down to about the 14th floor, going around each floor, and see how many covers are still on -- maybe they aren't now, but....

Larry Kelley said...

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Stuart Rankin said...

Fantastic building, and I love the "Mill District" concept. Hope all the N. Amherst compadres can get on board with this now that they see how it actually looks. High-quality, new housing will make existing landlords nervous but is exactly what we need to move forward. Can't wait to see what businesses go in downstairs.

Dr. Ed said...

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

And sometimes it's something that could get someone killed.

Damn it -- either these alarm systems are a complete waste of time & money, or they are things which ought not be disabled because they are important and valuable life safety devices.

Of course I said the same thing when there were icicles coming out of the fire alarm systems in Lincoln Apts. And that the alarm system ought not be turned off, which it was all that winter on some of the buildings.

Dr. Ed said...

Cinda -- I love the gear on the sign, but have you thought about going a bit further than that?

Have you ever thought of doing something like what Lane did down to their stone crushing plant? (Painting an old/interesting piece of equipment bright colors and putting it out on display (although I suspect they just left it where it was).

You were sawing for a century, do you have any old water-powered equipment laying around rusting? Yes you could spend some money and put up an interpretive historical display with pictures and such but it wouldn't cost you much to sandblast, prime & paint large old metal things that would give a clear link to the past --- when it was a mill district.

Larry Kelley said...

It has not been "disabled". At the time I was there it simply had not been fully enabled. The tenants have not yet moved in.

Anonymous said...

Nice! A much better place for development than The Retreat.

Larry Kelley said...

I believe the. $6.5 million for The Retreat property will be reinvested in The Mill District.

Anonymous said...

At the time I was there it simply had not been fully enabled.

If I am not mistaken, it has to be operational/enabled before a certificate of occupancy can be issued.

Which, of course, must be obtained before anyone can move in.

Larry Kelley said...

Of course.

Anonymous said...

This is how villages start. A nice place to live within walking distance of amenities. Its a start.

Dr. Ed said...

Villages also have a linkage to history. I'm not talking about that (now) asinine requirement that Southpoint must retain that old (and likely unsafe) concrete silo but real things that give people a relevant anchorage to the past.

That's why I think Cinda ought to try to find some old equipment (to heavy to steal) and make it into public artwork.