Most tenants have left Amherst Motel following eviction notices

  • The Amherst Motel consisted of 12 rooms and 28 apartments. The Northampton Road property, which straddles the Amherst / Hadley town line, is slated for demolition and redevelopment as the Aspen Heights apartments. Most of the tenants have moved out following eviction notices.  FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 7/12/2019 4:04:20 PM
Modified: 7/12/2019 4:04:07 PM

AMHERST — Called to the Amherst Motel site on Route 9 early Tuesday morning for a report of vandalism, police officers found two vehicles that both had their front and rear windows smashed out.

Although no suspects were identified in the damage to the 2013 Audi A4 sedan and the 2005 Chevy Trailblazer, which also had its tires slashed, officers did speak to one of the last tenants remaining at the 408 Northampton Road property.

According to dispatch logs provided by the department, the woman, who owns one of the damaged vehicles, told the officers “she didn’t know what happened and didn’t care.”

Detective Yvonne Felciano said the incident is prompting the department to have extra patrols monitoring the site, which is expected to be redeveloped into a new apartment complex known as Aspen Heights, featuring 198 beds in 88 apartments.

Most tenants have apparently already departed the Amherst Motel after receiving eviction notices informing them they had until July 1 to leave so that the 1950s-era complex can be demolished.

Bennie Johnson, who lived at Amherst Motel for nearly nine years and has been an advocate for his fellow tenants, said he believes almost all of the two dozen or so people living in the one-bedroom apartments have found new places to live, either in Amherst or elsewhere. Just a few remain who haven’t found housing, he said.

Johnson and his wife, Marguerita Feliciano, have moved to Northampton. Johnson added that he appreciates the size of his new apartment, though it is so large that he now uses his electric wheelchair to get from the living room to the kitchen.

In addition to police keeping an eye on the Amherst Motel property, Building Commissioner Rob Morra said health inspector Ed Smith continues to be in regular contact with the property owner. Morra said  Smith is also providing assistance to the remaining tenants so that they will continue to have appropriate living conditions until they move out.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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