16-apartment building with commercial space proposed for edge of downtown Amherst

  • Amherst Town Hall FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/9/2019 2:45:46 PM

AMHERST — A project to bring 16 new apartments to the edge of downtown, along with additional office space, will come before the Planning Board later this month.

The development, called Center East Commons, would feature 30 bedrooms in the 16 apartments and a 500-square-foot professional office. It would be constructed at 462 Main St., next to an 1820 home that for many years has provided office space on the site.

Town planners will hold a site plan review and special permit hearing for the project July 24 at 7:15 p.m. at Town Hall.

The development would be situated on the north side of Main Street between the intersections at Gray and High streets, and almost immediately across from the entrance to the VFW.

According to plans filed by Thomas Reidy, an attorney with Bacon Wilson, PC of Amherst, on behalf of property owner 462 Main LLC, whose managers are John and Ann Wroblewski of South Deerfield, the development would require the removal of an existing 400-square-foot, 1½-story garage.

The information submitted to the town by Reidy indicates that undergraduates will not be the target for the rental units and that the housing units are geared toward professionals, retirees and graduate students. 

The site will have 32 parking spaces, with six being added close to Main Street.

The existing building on site, the nearly 200-year-old Jared T. Wescott House, includes seven offices in 1,948 square feet, including the Medical Illness Therapy Center and the Amherst location of the law offices of Gelinas & Lefebvre.

The property is adjacent to another Wroblewski-owned property at 22 High St., which in the mid-1990s was subject to legal challenges when an effort to build apartments there led to appeals and lawsuits in which neighbors cited concerns about increased traffic, the density of the project and changing the character of the neighborhood. Eventually the Wroblewskis developed the Spruce Ridge Apartments on that site in the late 1990s.

Before the hearing on the 462 Main St. project, the Planning Board will hold a site plan review hearing on the South East Street Court project, a long-planned development in the East Amherst village center that features 62 apartments and retail space and would be constructed at 133 and 143 South East St.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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