1 East Pleasant Street, a new downtown anchor on the north end of town center
5th time was the charm for the proposed mixed use five-story building with 84 residential units located on the north end of downtown, as the Planning Board last night, finally, gave Site Plan Approval with waivers for 1 East Pleasant, Archipelago Investments 4th commercial Amherst development in just the past few years.
Kyle Wilson, Dave Williams (behind)
Determined opposition had switched tactics for this final meeting suggesting the Planning Board hold off giving final approval of the project until September of 2015. That way, they reasoned, nearby Kendrick Place with 36 rental units would be open and clientele demographics could be ascertained.
Kendrick Place under construction next door
Only in Amherst do NIMBYs micromanage private developments right down to the target customers.
The vote to approve was 6-0 with 2 abstentions. Since two members were not present at the original hearing that started w-a-y back on October 1st, they could not legally vote on the project.
Building abuts sacred West Cemetery
The approval comes with a boatload of conditions but the developers thus far have been overly attentive to details so it's unlikely they will not keep up their side of the agreement. The developers are also pursuing LEED-Gold certification, which also comes with a great number conditions.
A couple dozen residents showed up for "public comment" period
The Planning Board showed extra concern for how the new building would be managed. Archipelago responded that they are "developers not property managers," and they were in the final process now of picking a management company that would handle all four of their Amherst developments.
1 East Pleasant will have an on-site manager living in one of the units and a front desk will be operational during peak hours. The lease will not allow rental by the room, only by the unit, and anyone not on the lease will be subject to sanctions.
The specter of rowdy student behavior clung to this project like a wet blanket. Fortunately with the town and UMass joining forces to reign in such bad behavior that concern is getting less and less valid. Although hard to convince neighbors of that.
Wilson and Williams in the not-overly-hot seat before Planning Board last night
Kyle Wilson repeated stressed this building would be well-managed ... something to make the town proud. The Planning Board unanimously agreed.