Amherst Historical Commission imposes demolition delay on former Bertucci’s building

  • The former Bertucci’s building, located at 51 East Pleasant St. in Amherst. staff photo/Scott Merzbach

Staff Writer
Thursday, September 20, 2018

AMHERST — Demolition of a building that recently housed Bertucci’s restaurant, to make way for a new mixed-use building that would be similar in size and style to the Kendrick Place and One East Pleasant Street projects, will have to wait a year.

The Historical Commission Wednesday voted 3-1 to impose a demolition delay on the 51 East Pleasant St. building that was built in 1946 as an auto repair shop and which from December 1992 until this spring housed a Bertucci’s brick oven pizzeria. Prior to Bertucci’s, the site was used as Rowe’s Chrysler-Plymouth dealership.

Senior Planner Brandon Topance said the majority of the commission deemed the one-story building to be a significant structure, and that property owner Central Amherst Realty Trust of Westborough should explore ways to preserve the building.

“Some of the ideas shared by the commission were adaptive reuse, or to somehow incorporate the structure into the new development,” Topance said.

Conceptual plans filed with the Planning Department show the one-story building, which was renovated entirely before becoming a restaurant, being replaced by one of two five-story, mixed-use projects, featuring 68 apartments. The buildings would be constructed in the vicinity of East Pleasant and Pray streets.

The development also calls for razing the 70-year-old building at 33-37 East Pleasant that is used by Amherst Copy & Designworks and The Spoke.

The larger proposed building, on the Bertucci’s site, will have 8,231 square feet for businesses, while the smaller building will have 4,928 square feet dedicated to commercial space. The buildings also have 63 parking spaces, as well as a smaller building adjacent to them that is envisioned as a restaurant.