And so they did
The Retreat, a controversial student housing development proposed for the 147 acre woodlands of northeast Amherst, is no more -- killed by protracted battles with organized neighborhood resistance and quite simply the high per unit cost of development.
Letter hand delivered to Town Clerk on Friday from Landmark Properties
The Planning Board did not seem overly enthusiastic about granting all the variances required as part of the Definitive Subdivision Plan for 123 lots, which would have housed 641 tenants -- all of them UMass students.
UMass is the #1 employer in town and #2 property owner but because they are an educational institute pay no property taxes. The town assessor had projected the private development would have paid almost $400,000 in property taxes annually if built.
Landmark Properties had a Purchase & Sale agreement with W.D. Cowls for $6.5 million, but only put down $50,000 which is non refundable. In addition they have done upwards of $1 million in due diligence site work leading up to the Planning Board hearings.
Cinda Jones will now pursue other development opportunities with the improved property.