Easthampton city planner decides to move on

Jessica Allan will be a project associate for MBL Housing and Development, Inc.

  • Jessica Allan. Her last day as city planner for Easthampton will be Dec. 14, 2107. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

EASTHAMPTON — City Planner Jessica Allan is leaving her post after five years to be a project associate for MBL Housing and Development Inc., an Amherst-based real estate consulting firm.

Her last day in Easthampton is Dec. 14. Mayor Karen Cadieux said the position will be posted with a January deadline for applicants. Since Mayor-elect Nicole LaChapelle takes office on Jan. 2, she will be making the appointment.

Allan said her new position at the consulting firm will give her the opportunity to learn more about real estate and focus more on affordable housing.

“It’s a direction I’ve been wanting to go,” Allan said.

Allan was appointed as city planner in March 2012. As planner, she was involved in the development of the Nashawannuk Pond boardwalk and a $7.5 million infrastructure project for the Pleasant Street mill corridor that included electrical and stormwater management, rehabilitation of the bike path and paving of a parking lot.

She said she’s enjoyed the construction process, especially seeing the growth of the mill building area.

“What I think is great about Easthampton is it’s an engaged community,” she said. “When there’s a public meeting, people show up.”

Prior to her role as city planner, Allan worked for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, assisting Easthampton officials in creating the master plan and 40R “smart growth” zoning to promote the creation of higher-density housing in downtown areas.

Cadieux said it’s been a pleasure working with Allan and wishes her the best.

“We truly appreciate her success in obtaining grant funding for many projects we were able to complete for the city, especially the MassWorks phase 1, 2 and 3 funding for the Pleasant Street mills,” Cadieux said in an email. “She has been an exemplary employee and I’m sure she will be an asset to her new employer on her next career venture.”

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.