Gordon Hall, 418 North Pleasant Street
Proposed Crotty Hall (from Northwest perspective)
A couple years ago Amherst Redevelopment Authority consultant Giani Longo suggested a mixed-use mega project for the North Pleasant street corridor in and around the old frat row.
And just a tad further south, closer to town center, suggested some sort of "signature building" would be nice, since it's such a well traveled route to our proud flagship of higher education, UMass Amherst.
The current owners of Gordon Hall, where the UMass Economics Department holds court, go before the Amherst Planning Board on 12/3 to present plans for a matching beautiful building, Crotty Hall. Together they will make a splendid statement for folks heading into the central core of UMass.
Signature twins if you will.
Unfortunately neither of them, unlike what the ARA consultant had in mind, will be on the tax rolls. And since they are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit pursuing educational goals the Planning Board pretty much has to approve the project.
And no, they cannot make a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes a special condition for granting Site Plan Approval.
Because it's located on the road owned by Amherst, the building will be protected by Amherst police and fire personnel. Since Gordon Hall is assessed at almost $3 million, if it were in private for-profit hands (or just a rich homeowner) it would have generated $60,000 last year in property taxes.
They do at least pay permit fees to Building Department
When this new building goes on line you can more than double that assessed value to well over $6 million or $120,000 in potential property taxes. Or enough to hire a few badly needed pubic safety personnel.
Alas, Crotty Hall will pay nothing. But it sure will be pretty.