The ARA crown jewel: Boltwood Project circa 1970s
The Amherst Redevelopment Authority, a quasi-state agency with the power of eminent domain, met for the first time in five years on Wednesday and discussed future projects based on areas of town that are "underdeveloped and underutilized."
The four elected members were present -- Jim Turner, Peggy Roberts, Pam Rooney and Pat Holland -- as well as Planning Board director Chris Brestrupt and senior Planner Jonathan Tucker and the town's economic development director Geof Kravitz.
The Governor's appointee position (the 5th member) is currently vacant but already Paige Wilder, who lost to Pam Rooney a few years back, has applied for the position.
The ARA was intensely active a half-dozen years ago with the Gateway Project where UMass was willing to donate former Frat Row on North Pleasant Street for a mixed use signature project that would have provided badly needed student housing and a "gateway" to downtown Amherst.
The well organized NIMBYs assailed the project for all the usual reasons and UMass withdrew the offer.
These are the four areas that are now on the to do list of the ARA:
Kellogg Ave between N. Pleasant and Smith Street bordered by West Cemetery
The Depot district bordered by rr tracks Dickinson and Main Streets
College Street around Eversource brick building (currently occupied by Amherst Media)
North Amherst center behind the Library