A developer is looking to demolish a building in downtown Amherst

Published: 04/14/2022 21:54:21

Modified: 04/14/2022 21:53:12

AMHERST — An Amherst developer is again asking for permission to demolish a late 19th-century building in the downtown core.

Barry Roberts appears before the Historical Commission at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to review, under the Demolition Delay Settlement, plans to demolish 37 North Pleasant St., a building that dates to at least the 1880s and is home to the Tavern McMurphy’s Uptown and Amherst Typewriter and Computer.

The property is located between the former Judie’s Restaurant, soon to become the Amherst Oyster Bar, and Antonio’s Pizza. A narrow pedestrian walkway leading to Boltwood Walk is on the south side of the building.

The removal would make way for new construction in 2023 of a building, which is not yet permitted, which would include a variety of uses. According to the application, the plan is to “construct a mixed-use building, including retail, restaurant and housing on the site.”

Roberts had previously won commission approval to demolish the building in March 2021, after its members determined the building was not historically significant. Roberts later obtained a demolition permit, but planner Ben Breger said it expired after six months when it was not renewed or extended.

That expiration is what forces Roberts to start the process all over again, Breger said.

According to earlier plans, Roberts would also demolish the nearby building at 45 Boltwood Walk opened by the Knights of Columbus in 2007 as Rev. J. Joseph Quigley Hall. This building, which now houses the Mass Vintage clothing store, is not subject to the Demolition Delay Bylaw.

Meanwhile, the Historic Commission meeting will also consider a request to remove a historic garage from a property at 285 Main Street, across from the Emily Dickinson Museum.

Scott Merzbach can be contacted at [email protected]

David H. Henry