UMassFive Credit Union to build new flagship branch in Amherst

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Staff Writer
Published: 5/7/2022 10:49:19 PM

AMHERST — A new building for the UMassFive Credit Union is being planned for two parcels on Northampton Road, continuing a redevelopment trend on the south side of the divided state highway.

The project would be located on the properties at 398 and 406 Northampton Road, which currently have two repair garages for Zbylut Motor Works, constructed over the past 15 or so years, and a single-family rental home that dates to around 1900, according to town property records.

Craig Boivin, vice president of marketing for UMassFive, wrote in an email that the flagship branch will be relocated to the new property, possibly in late 2023 or early 2024.

“Our leadership team feels that it is of the utmost importance to have our flagship branch in a more visible location on Route 9 to further the awareness of the credit union in our local community, and provide us a billboard presence for all newcomers who join our community at the start of each semester,” Boivin wrote.

A notice of intent hearing related to potential impacts on wetlands on the properties will be the subject of a hearing before the Conservation Commission May 11 at 7:30 p.m. Berkshire Design Group of Northampton is handling that aspect of the project.

Razing of the home will go to the Historical Commission May 18 at 6:30 p.m. The commission oversees proposed removals of buildings that are more than 50 years old under the demolition delay bylaw.

The plans on file with the town’s Planning Department show that the two parcels will be combined into a unified 1.43-acre lot, with the existing buildings to be demolished to make way for the 10,608-square-foot building bank, designed by Kuhn Riddle Architects of Amherst.

Plans depict a two-story building with a significant amount of glass and a flat roof. The building’s footprint is about 6,000 square feet. 

At the new building, to be open to the public Mondays through Saturdays, there would be 15 employees, three interactive teller machines, as well as 34 parking spaces and two bicycle racks.

UMassFive  is currently located less than a mile away in Hadley at 200 Westgate Center Drive, where it opened in a two-story, 18,000-square-foot building in 2001, after previously leasing space at the Newmarket Center on University Drive for 14 years.

Once the new site is complete, the current building will be converted into UMassFive headquarters, no longer having a retail banking component, Boivin said.

The project site is situated between Hawkins Meadow Apartments to the east and Aspen Heights Apartments to the west. Aspen Heights, which opened in August 2021, replaced the Amherst Motel.

On the east side of Hawkins Meadow, construction on a new mixed-use development, featuring apartments on the upper levels and a doctor’s office on the ground level, is continuing.

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

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