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Developers acquire sorority house for $1.5 million in Amherst

  • The Chi Omega sorority house at 47 Olympia Drive in Amherst, built in 1969. Next door, at left, is the 75-unit Olympia Place apartment complex, which opened in 2016. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Chi Omega sorority house at 47 Olympia Drive in Amherst, seen Dec. 28. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Chi Omega sorority house at 47 Olympia Drive in Amherst, built in 1969. Photographed on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING



Staff Writer
Monday, January 04, 2021

AMHERST — A 50-year-old sorority house on Olympia Drive recently sold for $1.5 million to an Amherst development team whose projects have included a college-student apartment building on an adjacent parcel and mixed-use projects downtown.

47 Olympia Drive LLC, managed by Kyle Wilson and David E. Williams, with corporate offices at 37 South Pleasant St., bought the Iota Beta chapter of Chi Omega sorority site in early December. The sorority is affiliated with the University of Massachusetts.

The property includes a two-story, brick building on just over an acre and is assessed at $1.27 million. Built in 1969, the sorority house sits between Olympia Place, a 75-unit, 236-bed apartment complex at 57 Olympia Drive that opened in September 2016, and the Mather Building owned by the University of Massachusetts.

In addition to constructing Olympia Place, upscale apartments rented only to local college students, Wilson and Williams, as Archipelago Investments, also have developed the mixed-use Boltwood Place, Kendrick Place and One East Pleasant in downtown Amherst.

Their company is also in the midst of building a mixed-use project on Spring Street across from the Inn on Boltwood, though that project was halted at the outset of the pandemic in March.

Olympia Place’s construction came after the developers demolished the former Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Located off East Pleasant Street between Village Park and the UMass police station, Olympia Drive was once envisioned as a fraternity and sorority park, with a master plan calling for the 50 acres to be developed by 23 fraternities and sororities. But most of the parcels have remained undeveloped, with only two buildings ever opening for the Greek organizations.

Also on Olympia Drive is the 42-home Olympia Oaks affordable housing project, built on 13 acres at 85 Olympia Drive. The town worked with HAP Housing Inc., now known as Wayfinders, on that project.

Meanwhile, the Chi Omega sorority has purchased a residence at 315 Lincoln Ave. from Alfred and Erika Alchuler for $659,900. That home is located just south of the UMass campus.