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Posted on: December 19, 2017

Major Mixed Use Development in North Amherst Receives State Support

DHCD Awards Beacon

Major Mixed Use Development in North Amherst Receives State Support

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has awarded Beacon Communities significant incentive tax credits for North Square at the Mill District in the Town of Amherst. With this funding commitment from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the $47.5 million project will move forward in early 2018.

The mixed-use, mixed-income project had previously received the unanimous approval of the Amherst Select Board for an affordable housing tax incentive estimated to be $2.8 million over the ten year life of the incentive. The project also received approval of a Comprehensive Permit with 130 conditions under Chapter 40B of the General Laws from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

“This is an extraordinary example of a partnership between the private sector, state government, and local government,” said Select Board chair Douglas Slaughter. “This cooperative process is allowing us to achieve goals in economic development and housing, including a significant number of affordable housing units, which are reflective of the shared values of Beacon, Amherst, and the Commonwealth.”

North Square at the Mill District consists of two new buildings containing 130 residential units. Twenty percent (26 units) will be deeply affordable at 50% area median income. The development will also include 22,000 square feet of non-residential space that is projected to house 8-10 businesses, approximately 304 parking spaces, and include site improvements on a 5.3 acre property leased from W. D. Cowls, Inc. on Cowls Road in North Amherst.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman said, “We are pleased that the Town will be gaining a first-class, mixed-use development in one of the Town’s key village centers. This is a fantastic example of a public (State and Town)-private (Cowls and Beacon) partnership to create much needed market-rate and affordable housing and commercial opportunities.” He continued, “Beacon Communities and the Cowls family have been steadfast in pursuing this project and we anticipate it will set a high standard for future development in North Amherst.”

Beacon anticipates that it will close on the financing and begin construction in early spring 2018.

Contact: Paul Bockelman

Town Manger


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