A new five-story apartment project that would rise behind and be connected to the back of the former A.J. Hastings building is receiving a favorable recommendation from an Amherst town committee.
Before site plans for the development at 45-55 South Pleasant St. are filed with the Planning Board, the Design Review Board last week gave its unanimous endorsement to the project, along with some recommendations for possible improvements, following a presentation by a development team from Kuhn Riddle Architects on behalf of developer Barry Roberts and Hastings owners Mary Broll and Sharon Povinelli.
“I’m really excited about this development,” said Design Review Board member Karin Winter during the Jan. 29 meeting. “It’s really going to do a lot to enliven that part of town (and) bring pedestrians in.”
Board member Patricia Auth said the project is tasteful and meets the needs of Amherst for more housing. “Preserving the Hastings building and keeping the streetscape familiar is a wonderful effort with that,” Auth said.
Designs unveiled by Jonathan Salvon, a principal at Kuhn Riddle, show a 55-foot tall building, with large glass windows on three sides, with a taller elevator and staircase shaft on the fourth side connecting to the upper two floors of the three-story Hastings building at 45 South Pleasant St. Those floors in the 19th century building will be renovated into apartments, as well.