Development boom in Amherst raises questions, shows no sign of stopping

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AMHERST — Three luxury apartment complexes close to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Amherst College — Kendrick Place, Olympia Place and One East Pleasant — have gone up in as many years. But even before the newest project has finished construction, the company behind these student-focused buildings has another venture in the works. 

“We’ve received permits for a building on Spring Street that could start construction this summer or fall. This one will be a bit smaller, 38 apartments, and is closer to Amherst College than our other developments,” Bryon Wells of Amherst Innovative Living said. “We get a lot of rental inquiries from Amherst College faculty, and we think they’ll love this building.”

San Realty Corp. paid $750,000 for the 26 Spring St. plot which sits near the Amherst Police Department, according to a deed available on

The One East Pleasant building set to open this summer will have 136 units and a residents-only parking garage. Similar to Kendrick Place and One East Pleasant, developers envision the Spring Street building will have apartments atop first-floor retail space.

 Wells said the company is looking to provide a living option different from the “typical garden style” apartments in Amherst which require residents to travel by car. 

“Many people like that, and that’s OK. But we are trying to offer a different option for the people who value being in the center of town, walking distance to everything,” Wells said.

Amherst Innovative is also the group behind the luxury mixed-use apartment building Boltwood Place, and assisted with the development of new downtown co-working space AmherstWorks. Boltwood Place opened in 2012. It has 12 units and describes its appearance as “earthy and sensual” on its website.