Housing proposal could bring 170 student housing units to Cushman section of Amherst Reply

A student housing project is proposed for Henry Street on 154 acres in Cushman Village area of Amherst, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette (subscription).  The proposal is for 170 units tailored for Amherst’s large student population.

It was reported the owner of the property, W.D. Cowls Inc., is selling the property for $6.6 million to Landmark Properties of Athens, Georgia.

Dubbed “The Retreat”, The Gazette reported that the project will be a cluster development consisting of cottage-style homes with two to four bedrooms.  The plan also calls for open space.  Public transportation will also be available, according to a news report by Masslive.

The Gazette noted that this project is another means of adding student housing after Amherst Town Meeting voted down a measure that would have allowed for more rental housing in North Amherst.

The proposed site is currently under Chapter 61, a Massachusetts land conservation program that allows for reduced taxes.  As with all Chapter 61 programs, Amherst has the right of first refusal to purchase the property, but that is seldom exercised.   Back taxes if they are going to take the property out of Chapter 61 in order to sell it for residential use, however, according to Masslive, those costs will be encumbered by Landmark.

If you are planning on buying or selling a home in Amherst or surrounding communities, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129 or email michael.seward@comcast.net.

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