Kyle Wilson presenting to Amherst Planning Board
1 East Pleasant Street, the mixed use mega project proposed as a new anchor for the north end of downtown, jumped a major hurdle late last night with the Planning Board approving two Special Permit applications: allowing the structure to climb an extra five feet to a total height of 60', and modification to side and rear setbacks allowing the building to sit closer to neighboring property.
Each of the 3 sessions has drawn a large, mostly hostile, crowd
Complaints about the proposed development ranged from the aesthetic, branding the building overly institutional, or not having to provide parking for all 84 housing units, with none of those units set aside as "affordable," to the real underlying concern that has dominated any mention of any development anywhere in town: rowdy student behavior.
The ambitious project must still pass Site Plan Review at the November 19 meeting, but it's a safe bet now that Special Permits have passed muster.
There is however a 21 day appeal period for the Special Permits which begins after the permits have been signed and filed with the Town Clerk (sometime in the next 1-3 weeks), so the bulldozers will not be starting up anytime soon.
Archipelago Investments already built Boltwood Place, a 5 story mixed-use development in the downtown a few years back and currently have two other projects underway: 36 unit Kendrick Place, almost adjacent to this proposed 1 East Pleasant Street project, and Olympia Place, a 75 unit housing-only development near UMass specifically targeting, gasp, students.