Monday, December 29, 2014

Call In The Lawyers

One East Pleasant Street (as proposed)

To no great surprise an abutter (and competitor) to the recently approved One East Pleasant Street, a 5-story mixed use project that will revitalize the north end of downtown, has filed an appeal within the 20 day deadline to overturn two Special Permits as well as the entire "site plan approval."

 Joel Greenbaum, who is also a major Amherst landlord, filed the appeal in Hampshire Superior Court naming Archipelago Investments LLC (the developer), eight members of the Amherst Planning Board, and the town of Amherst as Defendants.

The suit alleges the mostly residential project violates town zoning bylaw because it is a "large scale student housing project". Of course the developers would disagree, citing the demographic of their initial downtown 5-story mixed-use project, Boltwood Place, that attracts tenants other than just students.

Furthermore the suit alleges the project fails to comply with Amherst's zoning bylaw mandating affordable housing units in any housing project that requires a Special Permit.

The town attorney has already found that since the project is allowed "by right" and the two Special Permits are relatively minor tweaks, the affordable housing clause does not apply.

Statement from the developers:
 Click to enlarge/read

The appeal stands little chance of winning on its merits and killing the project, but will most certainly slow down the bulldozers. The tired old strategy of "death by delay".

74 comments:

Will the real author please stand up said...

What nimby lawyer do you think "ghost wrote" this? Seems unlikely young Joel G. has the smarts to do this all on his lonesome...

Anonymous said...

3:09
With the many typos, it looks like the handiwork of Vince O'Connor, Esq.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah it is kind of interesting he filed as "Pro Se," but still wishes to be awarded "reasonable costs" if he wins.

Anonymous said...

I am just so sick of these people like the Greenbaums who profess to support "the neighborhoods" but when developers try to build more housing to relieve the student pressure, they yell and file lawsuits to try to stop it. Not a word about the FACT they do not want competition so they can continue to charge market rate for their slumlord apartments. People who can afford to pay market rate are going to go for a brand new, energy efficient building with 10 foot ceilings and huge windows, downtown.

Even worse, most of the obstructionists are town meeting members and 1/3 +1 of them can stop any effort to change Amherst's governing documents.

Seriously, if we can't get these people voted out (do we need a political party of some sort???) Amherst is going to continue to go down the tubes.

I believe that if Vince and company could go back to riding horses and substistance farming, they would...

Aaargh.

Anonymous said...

Why would a guy with all that real estate fail to hire an actual attorney? I don't get it. Ridiculous all around.

You can't say that in Amherst said...

Comment deleted

Anonymous said...

"Minor tweaks?" Since when is an extra 10% in height minor? You are such a pathetic shill, Kelley. It's unclear whether Archipalego would even go forward without
these so-called minor tweaks. This case has plenty of merit. The town counsel's argument that a special permit isn't a special permit is laughable and won't hold up in court. This project is too big and doesn't have enough parking. It won't revitalize that end of town, it will make it a mess.

Larry Kelley said...

And you're so sure of that you're willing stand up and put your name behind it.

Or not.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

Do you know if Joel G. is a relation to the two Greenbaum's on TM who own lots of property in North Amherst and fought tooth and nail to stop zoning changes in North Amherst?

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, son.

Anonymous said...

Dear Larry,

Thanks for posting potentially libelous claims by the developer that the petitioner is doing this to stifle competition in Amherst's rental real estate market. We look forward to learning who your sponsors are and the amounts they offered you to promote their interests.

- Citizens United

Larry Kelley said...

What are you going to do, beat it out of me?

Anonymous said...

6:39
Please get over the parking issue.

They are providing 35+ more spaces than they need to.

Even Joel Greenbaum isn't arguing that that there isn't enough parking.

Anonymous said...

35 spaces for over 200 plus residents? No parking issue? What are you smoking? At the parking forum literally everyone who spoke that there already is a severe parking shortage without Kendrick Place and One East Pleasant. Yes, they are providing 35 spaces than they are legally required but that is because the powers that be are a bunch of overeducated nitwits. This isn't New York City and never will be. People here drive. This whole thing is about money. Increased profits for developers. Supposed new tax revenues to insure annual raises for town employees. And the people who live here? They can go "f" themselves. The whole thing stinks.

Anonymous said...

So, wait...

Either it's a competitive threat to other student housing or it's, hold on, somehow NOT student housing.

The developer seems to be having it both ways....

Larry Kelley said...

Actuallt they are not legally required to provide any parking at all.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Where are all these people who live there going to park?

Anonymous said...

The Greenbaums as a whole seem rather self serving. They pushed to prevent development in North Amherst, where they live. The family now wants to kill a development in the center of town over stupid issues. Get honest, you don't want competition. You are a huge landlord, a good one I hear, but a landlord non the less. This family looks self serving and hypocritical. It is not about what is best for Amherst, it is about what is best for the Greenbaums, or so it seems.

Anonymous said...

For a little fun, look at some of the Special Permits (SP) that have benefited Joel Greenbaum.

In 2005 he was granted a SP for a 5-apartments 15-17 Hallock St, near 1 East Pleasant. Normally, 36000 sf of land is req'd. He only had 16000 sf.
The apartments have 4 bedrooms. Special Permit granted!

https://www.amherstma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/920

In 2008, the ZBA granted him a SP for a duplex on a non-conforming site.
https://www.amherstma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/1881

Did I mention that Hilda Greenbaum, his mom, was on the ZBA both times? (not on these cases... but whatever)

To paraphrase my favorite movie:

I'm shocked, shocked that there are Special Permits being granted here!

Your winnings, sir...

Anonymous said...

The Greenbaums are performing a public service by taking this on. They love this town and for decades have led the way to preserve its historic character. You want to go after somebody by name try David Williams and Kyle Wilson. Both Boltwood Place and Kendrick Place are architectural abominations which are detract from the town. The two W's are self serving opportunists who are simply concerned with lining their pockets to the max and have little if any regard for the town's future.

Anonymous said...

What is the price of these new apartments to be built where the Carriage Shops are? Seems like only a bunch of students packed into each apartment will be able to afford to live in them. If this is the case, how is it providing living space to non-student residents?

There is not actually a shortage of housing for students at Umass -- if that's what you'll argue next. And it's not up to the center of Amherst to pack them in there anyway.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shill

No need for violence - a subpoena should suffice.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, I guess since Mr. Greenbaum was smart enough to write out that entire 42 page legal brief all by himself (sarcasm), I guess it shouldn't be too hard to figure out how to write up a subpoena.

Go ahead, make my day!

Anonymous said...

"They love this town and for decades have led the way to preserve its historic character"

______________


Character? Ha! When you drive into town you see a Subway, when you leave at the other end you see a Bank of America ATM. In between is no constancy nor anything worth looking at. To say this town has any historic character is a joke. It's a mish mosh of crap.

Anonymous said...

Williams and Wilson are performing a public service by taking this on. They love this town and for decades have led the way to preserve its character. You want to go after somebody by name try the Greenbaums. Their projects are architectural abominations which are detract from the town. The G's are self serving opportunists who are simply concerned with lining their pockets to the max and have little if any regard for the town's future.

Anonymous said...

If Greenbaum prevails in arguing that private student housing is only allowed in RF zone, won't Greenbaum Properties be shut down?

15-17 Hallock, from where he wrote the poison letter, serves the exact same demographic as 1 East Pleasant. That's Wilson's point.

Anonymous said...

Anon 844:
One chain restaurant is a reason to despoil the rest of the town? Most of the town, including Amherst College, is historic and does have character. Maybe you need to leave town to appreciate what we have genre. -- and stay there.

Anon 947pm. Equating special permits for small buildings for SPs for giant ones doesn't cut it.

Anon 919: get a life.

Grad Student said...

Look, I think it’s time that housing in Amherst entered the 21st century. How long do landlords like the Greenbaums think they can get away with charging an arm and a leg for small apartments with bathrooms and kitchens that haven’t been touched since the 1970s? Sure, if they block new developments, they might just be able to do so for a few more years, but the people who are moving to Amherst, who work and study at the colleges and universities and have lived in other (metropolitan) areas won’t be willing to pay rents this high for the crap landlords like Greenbaum put on the market (and he’s not even the worst!) for very much longer. It’s just trying to delay the inevitable, but since these guys have a captive audience, it’s very tempting and extremely profitable.

People like myself who move here from other locales expect that the $1,000+ they pay each month will at the very least get them a well-insulated, well-proportioned apartment that has been updated and renovated in the last decade or so. Not to mention the expectation of modern amenities, such as (gasp!) laundry in the units, perhaps A/C, or a garage if rents are higher.

So far, every place I’ve ever lived has had great diversity in its rental offerings. You have some stuff available at low prices, and when you see those units, you know why: they’re old, not up to date, but they’re an option for those looking for cheaper housing. Then you have more modern units, with modern amenities and services, who charge a lot more—but deservedly so, since they provide added value.

Here in Amherst, it’s all the same: no variation in price, spec, or amenities at all: you pay $900 for a subpar 1-bedroom no matter who you rent from. Same for 2 bedrooms: they all cost around $1,250, and they all pretty much look the same: OLD. If I want to pay more, I can, but it means I just get a BIGGER pile of crap, not an apartment of the same size that looks nicer. (There are exceptions: Cinda Jones’ Mill District apartments are one, but I don’t need 4 bedrooms…)

I welcome this new development for no other reason than that I hope that I rising tide lifts all boats. Not only will newer housing give potential renters some more options, it might also just compel the big landlords to put some work into updating their existing properties as well. Because they sure can use it.

The emperor wears no clothes said...

The people now suing the town are the same people that cost the town huge legal fees from 2002-2007 after they con"Vince"d Town meeting to rezone LeVerdiere's land off Rt. 116 to floodplain conservancy. After spending megabucks on legal fees trying to defend the amendment, the Town got a major smackdown from the courts for overstepping it's authority.

We can expect the same here - delay, delay, delay and huge legal costs. All in an attempt to force the developer to quit a completely valid project that provides much needed housing, exactly where it should be.

We need to start now to get these people voted out of TM before they can do any more harm.

Anonymous said...

Hey Grad Student, you're a grad student like I'm the Emperor of Swaziland. Not.

Anon 1109: you obviously weren't at the last Town Meeting. The 1/3 plus one that was doing the blocking was the blocking the majority's vote to uphold the town's affordable housing provisions. Most of the town is opposed to One East Pleasant, as currently presented.

Anonymous said...

Amherst college has some character but certainly not a place people flock to because of it's beauty. There are far prettier campuses in twenty other towns that blow the lid off Amherst College. Other than that and some older housing outside of Amherst, this town has as much character as a a worn penny. Spare me the praise for what is a God awful looking downtown and mostly 70s style condo north south and east along with a few pretty home scattered about.

Anonymous said...

11:08

Size doesn't matter. Read the zoning by-law.

A student dorm is a student dorm. Remember the anti Retreaters that were arguing that the proposed single-plexes and duplexes were dorms?

Greenbaum will be the biggest loser if his lawsuit prevails, because Greenbaum Student Housing, LLC, will be shut down.

But maybe that's OK.

Anonymous said...

There is a level of shamelessness in blocking change in Amherst that may be beyond anything in other towns.

And it takes some drilling down to determine what the hidden costs are to the Town each time we go deep into the Vince O'Connor Playbook.

Anyone remember the horrible consequences posed as a result of the upgraded fields at Plum Brook? Life as we know it was going to end. We are numb to it all now.

As for an up or down vote townwide on One East Pleasant Street, Anon 11:26 am who says "most of the town is opposed"?

I'd take that bet.

Anonymous said...

Wish it could go to a town wide vote and not just to the Musante hand picked Planning Board. At first blush, normal towns people don't know what the big fuss is but then when you explain to them that Kendrick Place has all of four parking spaces and that One East Pleasant has whopping thirty or so, they go ballistic. I guarantee you if this were put to a town wide vote, One East Pleasant would lose -- and big time.

Anonymous said...

5k bet the residents would vote down the project. But at this point their opinion doesn't mean a damn.

Larry Kelley said...

But you would have to I.D. yourself in order to collect on the bet.

Anonymous said...

2:12 and 2:29

Of course the voters would vote it down, unless they see how it would directly benefit them.

But they would also vote down your houses/apartments/condos.

Luckily, democracy doesn't work that way.

Anonymous said...

I think that as soon as townspeople saw the crew that is lined up to oppose this, the vote in favor would grow on the ad hominem effect alone.

Remind me again: how well has Mr. O'Connor done when he's run townwide?

There is actually a silent majority of non-NIMBYs in town. They don't run for Town Meeting, and that's unfortunate.

Grad Student said...

Anon 11:26: And you base that on, what exactly? I think you’d be surprised. In any case, does that detract in anyway from the point I make?

Anon 2:12 & 2:29: That’s why direct, popular democracy is a terrible idea. Besides the fact that even if you *would* ask, nobody would show up to a referendum like this besides the known interested parties, getting regular citizens to make large-scale, big-picture decisions is generally not a good idea.

If you present residents (whether or not they belong to the I-oppose-all-the-things coalition or not) with a half-witted description of a development in town, highlighting one particular aspect of it as a reason to vote it down (parking, in this case; another day it might be the color of the siding that’s oh-so-disastrous), the project would fail, and you’d be doing the town as a whole a disservice.

Citizens have only a limited cognitive ability to absorb information. I know that some of you like to think of yourself as superhuman, but everyone has lives outside local politics that need time and attention. As a result, getting all the facts and all the information about proposed projects is too big of an effort. However, there’s no shame in that—that’s why you have elected representatives. Ideally, elected representatives who are elected to serve on a paid, full-time basis, and who can study these issues *for* you, weighing ALL interests (not just your private interest in parking your rusty Subaru downtown on the way to the farmers market) before making a decision whether or not a development should be allowed to proceed.

That’s the ideal. Unfortunately, town meeting doesn’t come close to realizing this potential for the same reason that most citizens don’t have the capacity to judge projects on ALL their aspects. That’s why roundabouts get voted down for silly reasons, and why private interests of property owners and landlords present on town meeting can prevail as well.

Anonymous said...

Cost of running for TM: $0.00
Amount of property taxes VO pays: $0.00
3:19 "parking your rusty Subaru downtown on the way to the farmers market"
$priceless

Anonymous said...

By-the-Numbers for 2013

"Noise and Nuisance" violations in properties owned/managed by Greenbaum--12

"Noise and Nuisance" violations in properties owned by Archipelago--0

Anonymous said...

The recommendations to Town Meeting of the boards and committees should have extra weight, since they actually deliberate and study warrant articles beforehand.

There are members of Town Meeting who measure the health of that institution by how frequently it ignores those recommendations and goes its own way.

I've never understood that point of view.

Anonymous said...

Although it would be fun to see the Greenbaums shooting themselves in the foot, I hope that this appeal can begin the trip down the toilet as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

By the way, in the actual Special Permit, the minutes of various hearings are attached.

Greenbaum is quoted as saying that he would support a project that is 3 stories tall with 2 stories of apartments. He says nothing about concerns about students, stormwater, or inclusionary zoning. He also said that he agreed with Mr. Lacour, who had just spoken in favor of the project, as presented.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the vote on the project was held late at night while many are on vacation it might pass. Isn't this like the 5 story zoning vote?

Anonymous said...

As a downtown landlord I'm pleased to see the Carriage Shops being developed, even though it will bring me increased competition. However, it will also bring more new customers for my retail spaces. I'm not worried about students living downtown, as they already live here and are good neighbors to others. Some students will likely live in the new development and they will be subject to the same noise and rental regulations as they are in other parts of town. I'm not worried about the parking issue, as most of the downtown buildings that have apartments don't have any parking spaces. The renters buy parking permits, or more often, they just take the PVTA buses. While the buses may be infrequent in the outlying areas, they all go through town, so there is a bus every couple of minutes. There is no reason to own a car, and the Millennials are less interested in cars than prior generations.

Keep in mind that the Carriage Shops was starting to decay, with lots of broken concrete walkways, etc. that showed its time had passed. This is an excellent, well thought out development, and I doubt it will be controversial once it is built.

I will also point out that Archipelago built the building behind Judie's, which is both good looking, and has attracted a number of new businesses and residents. It hasn't been the least bit problematic.

Anonymous said...


Even if they use the buses (or walk or ride their bikes) around town, what if they already own a car?
Where do they put it when they're not using it?

How do the tenants get to and from Amherst in the first place?

Will anyone who loves this project come out publicly opposed to building more public parking structures? How is this not "privatization of profit and collectivization of costs"?

("Privateer" is just another name for "Pirate"!)

Anonymous said...

To answer your questions:

If you have a car and live in town you can purchase a monthly parking pass for the lower level of the parking garage, or purchase a parking pass to park on the side streets. Students that do not have cars take the MegaBus, and Peter Pan Bus to get to and from town.

The town does need more public parking, and I strongly support building a new parking garage, which will allow electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, and other innovative technology vehicles a place to park, not just gasoline powered vehicles.

"How is this not "privatization of profit and collectivization of costs"?"

Well, let's see, how about the fact that the new development will pay tens of thousands in taxes every year, but demand far less of town services than the average homeowner demands. If this does have a high percentage of students, it will place little burden on our public schools, and many of the other town resources that go to support children. Few college students will be using the town swimming pool and wading pools, as they are gone in the summer.

Grad Student said...

Anon 8:52 AM: I can tell parking is a big concern for you. But why are you focusing on this new building and asking all these questions about parking, when plenty of downtown apartments already don’t come with parking included? Don’t those residents find a way to deal with their transportation issues already? Here’s a collection of potential solutions:

1) you don’t bring a car to Amherst—that’s how many students do things already (see Anon 8:16 AM). They get dropped off by their parents in September, picked up in May, and if they need to go home in between, they take the bus or hitch a ride with friends. Big deal. If they need a car to go big-time grocery shopping (because for some stupid reason Amherst doesn’t have a downtown grocery store…), they, again, would carpool with friends or grab a ZipCar (conveniently provided near Kendrick Place, btw).

2) You get a permit and park it on the street if you really want your car close to your home; these are given out on a first-come-first-serve basis, so there’s a limited supply and a potential resident will have to keep that in mind.

3) You pay for a parking permit at the school you attend, and park it in one of the big lots. You use your bike or the bus to get to your car if you need it.

Not providing massive amounts of parking could encourage residents to find other transportation solutions, and, given the fact that they would know only limited parking is provided upon signing the lease—they’d *know* what they were getting into. Some will rule out these apartments based on the lack of parking, others won’t care. That’s how the market rolls, and judging by the many apartments that, for example, Lincoln Real Estate, already rents out without available off-street parking, that seems to be an issue many renters can indeed work around.

Creating housing is not all about finding the lowest common denominator, making it fit for everyone. There can be places in town where *you* wouldn’t want to live, and that’s fine—you might not want to, but someone else might like it. I myself enjoy living downtown, being able to walk everywhere (except to a grocery store), and needing a car only every so often. You might not like that lifestyle, but that’s ok—there’s no room for you in my too-small apartment anyway ;-).

Anonymous said...

Hi 8:03

Nice try.

But your Town Meeting approved the zoning amendment for 5 stories (in the downtown area) on November 17th, 2008, around 8pm. It was a non-controversial voice vote.

I can't think of many people in Amherst who are predictably on vacation on November 17th. And 8pm doesn't seem that late.

It's all here:
http://www.amherstma.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1604

Anonymous said...

This is one of the rare issues on which there's more sanity on this blog than there is in Town Meeting.

Larry Kelley said...

Thanks. (I think.)

Anonymous said...

A plea to "Grad Student"

Please put your name in the hat for one of the open Planning Board positions.(unless you are already on PB)

We need you.

Anonymous said...

"("Privateer" is just another name for "Pirate"!)"

True, but since this is a building, not a warship, that wouldn't seem to be in any way relevant.

Anonymous said...

Quack, quack, quack. What we have here is a failure to communicate.

This isn't about the stupidity of the general public or the inadequacies of town meeting or the incompetence of the planning board and planning director, it's about plain old common sense.

40 parking spaces for 400 plus residents doesn't cut it. Period.

One East Pleasant Street needs to be smaller and/or have more parking spaces. If Archipalego weren't so intransigent and greedy, there would be no problems with developing a space which everyone agrees needs to be redeveloped.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea that may help resolve Greenbaum's concerns about affordability issues:

1. Spring Town Meeting approves a requirement that student landlords provide one affordable unit in each building in the residential zoned neighborhoods.

2. This would double, at a minimum, the number of Amherst affordable units during 2015

3. This may have a calming effect on nuisance calls in the neighborhoods

4. The landlords would have all summer to complete alterations to accommodate a 1 family unit

5. This could also relieve the "tipping point" experienced by some neighborhoods

6. These student buildings can be easily identified by the Town's new registration program.

7. Families, especially the children, would be in a more neighborhood-like setting.

Anonymous said...

Only in Amherst do local businesspeople have to face continual accusations that they are "greedy".

If you make money from something other than psychotherapy, a law degree, a professorship, you are suspect here.

And that's why he calls this a "republic". It's grossly unfair. But once the accusers are part of a cause in town, who cares about fairness?

Anonymous said...

2:04
I actually appreciate your reasonableness.

But just asserting that something is so, doesn't make it so.

The people taking the risk are Wilson and Williams. If 40 spaces aren't enough, then they won't be able to rent the apartments and they will lose big.

Anonymous said...

No the people of Amherst are taking the risk when their own downtown becomes a place to avoid when there is no place to park. Most likely Williams and Wilson will sell their ill-conceived monstrosities and move on to build news ones.

Anonymous said...

"Downtown becomes a place to avoid when there is no place to park"
--Anonymous, 2014

"Nobody goes there anymore. Its too crowded"
--Yogi Berra, 1962

Anonymous said...

Great answers, Grad Student@10:04 - I'm with you on all of these, plus there's a train (at least once a day, maybe more in the future) over in 'hamp, except it goes north-south (to New Haven and NYC…) not east-west to Boston and the rest of Mass.

Anon@9:07 started well too, but then … WTF?!?

Just put the handful of e-vehicles, f.c.-vehicles etc. in the lower level of the existing garage. New public garages would cost over $100K/space of additional parking, which amortizes to more than a school student.

In other words: "Don't build it and they won't come." Instead of investing that $10M-plus for an additional 100 parking spaces (an investment W^2 declined to make and got a waiver for from the PB), instead invest in the woefully inadequate regional public transit (more frequent long-haul buses and east-west trains) that we still seem to need.

Anonymous said...

Parking is only part of the problem. It's like having a Holiday Inn in downtown Amherst with no parking. These projects don't fit in with the style of the town and should never been allowed. These projects should be on frat row closer to the University like the gateway was suppose to be. There was a time in Amherst when you had to go before a design review board for even a sign. They had rules on letter heights and styles. Some towns require all houses be painted the same color to fit in. We now have to live with these monoliths.

Anonymous said...

Now That's funny!

Anonymous said...

Mornin' 9:03

A Holiday Inn would have to provide parking. Hotels/motels are not exempt from the parking requirement in the municipal parking district.

One East Pleasant Street was thoroughly reviewed by the Design Review Board.

I'm not sure what "style of the town" you are referring to. That part of town is pretty frumpy, wouldn't you say?

Larry Kelley said...

And getting frumpier by the minute.

Anonymous said...

Also in Fall 2014...

Joel Greenbaum sought Special Permits to expand Knickerbocker Student Apartments (in the downtown area, near N. Whitney) from 20 units to 23 units. (=up to 92 students)

He requested and received waivers of setbacks (despite the flanking RG zone), parking, lot coverage. No affordable unites were offered despite its size.

I think the NIMBYs chose the wrong front person for their complaint.

Anonymous said...

We continue to live with this fantasy that we can get affordable units just for the demanding. No, it's private property, folks. You can demand affordable units when you are giving real, not theoretical quids for the quos from the property owner.

It's not just the police in America that need to be reminded occasionally about the Constitution. Some private citizens in this town who think that they can play God with builders frequently need the refresher. Planning Board members can repeat what they understand and it falls on deaf ears.

This is why Joel Bard's legal opinion to Town Meeting that not all special permits are the same WILL hold up in court.

Anonymous said...

The owners are getting something substantial for their SP. thousands of extra square footage. Joel Bard's indefensible and arguably immoral opinion will NOT stand. Archipelago could avoid the affordable housing provisions if they built a smaller structure which didn't require a Special Permit. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

Anonymous said...

Amen Brother/Sister!

Anonymous said...

The Amen Brother/Sister was for anon's Joel Bard's opinion WILL hold up in Court!!! And look who's talking Imoral, a greedy with words NYMBY

Anonymous said...

At the dawn of the 20th century, the horse was the dominant means of transportation in US cities and towns.
In NYC, there were 200,000 horses in 1900, 1 for every 17 residents. They couldn't build stables, liveries, and...carriage shops :-) fast enough. It all went away in a decade when gasoline and electric powered vehicles replaced horses and horse drawn vehicles.

I'm no futurist, and I don't think we will be on jetpacks any time soon, but we are at the dawn of another time of change, when the next generation is used to sharing everything--just look at the various car sharing networks, ridesharing, Uber car, smart cars, couch surfing, air bnb, etc etc.

Let's meet back at this blog in 2025. I predict we will all be making snarky comments about the unused multi-level automobile garage that we demanded the Archipelago build on the Carriage Shop site.

See you in 10 years

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is demanding that they build a multi-level parking garage.

Anonymous said...

Those are perfect arguments for why Amherst shout NOT invest in another parking facility as well.

Anonymous said...

The Greenbaum family has provided a unique serivce in Amherst Amherst in that they offer some accountability in their rental properties by both owning and managing their homes. Unlike other "agents" in town, their homes are well cared for and are of historical significance. As a former tenant of the Greenbaum family, I can say that both the home I lived in and every home I toured was In fantastic shape and featered details not present in any other rental homes in Amherst. Their background in History and generosity with their recent large donation of a quarter million to the honors college should show a commitment to promoting the positive effects that UMass and it's students can have on the town.

For the entire time I leased from the Greenbaum family, we were always treated like family and were reapected, which I cannot say is present with many other landlords in Amherst.

Given the knowledge of history that Louis has, it's obvious that he and his family understand the character and historical significance by both their home and his rental properties, and that the building proposed does not blend well with the fa├žade of most buildings in downtown Amherst. The family is not opposed to the redevelopment, they just do not approve of it's current design. I figure their positive track record in the rental market and understanding of this history of Amherst should show their opinion is of value.