Kendrick Place, opening by September 1st
Gloom and doom aficionados will be watching closely over the next few weeks as one of the more controversial buildings du jour -- after all, what building in Amherst has not generated controversy -- will open for business. Just in time for the students return.
In an update to the Planning Board earlier this week developers Kyle Wilson and Dave Williams presented "streetscape" plans for the finished product, although with the undergrounding of utility poles yet to be completed some of the work will have to put off until next year.
Streetlights for instance. DPW Chief Guilford Mooring told the Planning Board the MassWorks $1.5 million grant for the utility work only included the installation of tradition streetlights.
So if the board was interested in using the ornate, more efficient LEDs, they should take a quick tour of the Atkins Corner project where the streetlights are working just fine.
Mooring said he would still install traditional streetlights around Kendrick Place for the winter but could then replace them with the fancier ones, and simply reuse the conventional ones as spare parts. The price per unit for LED has come down to around the same $500 per unit as conventional ones.
Atkins Corner LED streetlight
Parking is of course the main issue with Kendrick Place -- or I should say the lack of it. Because it's located in the Municipal Parking District there are no minimum parking requirements. Thus critics wonder where the 104 tenants from the 36 units will park.
Although Amherst has one of the most extensive free bus systems in the region.
The Planning Board will present an article to Fall Town Meeting calling for the simplification of using private parking lots in the downtown as separate stand alone businesses to attempt to make more efficient use of parking. Private lots currently provide the lions share of parking in the downtown.
Property owner across the street not interested in sharing his parking lots
But Jeff Brown, the property owner directly across Triangle Street from Kendrick Place, said he has no interest in using his parking lots for anything but the convenience of his commercial tenants.
Town officials will also be closely monitoring the absorption of Kendrick Place into the downtown ecosystem, since the same developers are planning One East Pleasant Street, a much larger mixed use building within a shadow of Kendrick Place.
Construction crews working on a Saturday (8/22) to ensure September 1 opening