Matt Stamell: Downtown Amherst just an extension of UMass

Published: 6/13/2021 3:25:43 PM

What kind of town do we want? Pretty soon, downtown Amherst will be a place only for UMass and Amherst college students.

We are talking about a secon parking garage in the CVS lot, while the current parking garage is mostly empty. We are building five-story apartment buildings, not requiring the developer to include parking, and then we build parking garages to accommodate the students who rent the apartments.

We used to be a downtown of bookstores, record stores and music stores; now we have restaurants, mostly geared toward student budgets. There is no performance space downtown, no grocery store and no hardware store; we’ve abdicated all that to Route 9.

It’s becoming clear that downtown Amherst is an extension of the UMass campus and not a place for working people to live anymore. Is that what we want? It’s sad to see this once vibrant downtown succumb to big money interests. We want to build a second parking garage, for what? Who is going to want to come here?

Matt Stamell


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