Plans for four-story apartment building filed for Amherst Motel site

  • This architect’s rendering shows images of an apartment building proposed for the Route 9 site of the Amherst Motel near the Amherst-Hadley line.

Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

AMHERST — An upscale apartment building with 132 units is planned for a 4-acre Route 9 site that for more than 50 years has been the location of the Amherst Motel.

Plans for the four-story project, being called Aspen Heights, were submitted Monday to the Planning Department. The new building would replace the motel that was constructed at 408 Northampton Road, on the Hadley town line, in 1962.

The plans from Grant Architects/GSX Solutions of Annapolis, Maryland, show a building with both brick and clapboard siding, courtyards where residents can enjoy the outdoors and wrought-iron fences surrounding the perimeter.

The project would mean the demolition of Amherst Motel, which has 14 rooms and 28 furnished apartments.

GSX Solutions is represented by attorney Thomas Reidy of Bacon Wilson in Amherst.

The site is in the town’s professional research park, which prohibits residential uses unless a special permit is issued. This means the project will likely need review and approvals from both the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board.

The development is consistent with nearby uses, including Hawkins Meadow Apartments at 370 Northampton Road, and Windfield Estates on Greenleaves Drive, and, if aimed at college students, would provide another option for off-campus housing that includes Olympia Place on Olympia Drive, a 75-unit, 236-bed building that opened last fall.

Grant Architects and GSX have joined together with Aspen Heights Partners of Austin, Texas, on similar projects, including one in Albany, New York, and Grant Architects has designed student apartment buildings near the University of Maryland in College Park and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

In addition to Amherst reviews, Hadley officials are also involved because the developers plan to put 174 parking spaces at 459 Russell St. behind Domino’s Pizza. The only part of the Amherst Motel in Hadley is its swimming pool.

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