Proposal would add office/apartment building to Pomeroy center

Developer Ronald LaVerdiere is proposing a new three-story building with apartments and office space for the Amherst Office Park in Pomeroy Village center.

Developer Ronald LaVerdiere is proposing a new three-story building with apartments and office space for the Amherst Office Park in Pomeroy Village center. CONTRIBUTED

Developer Ronald LaVerdiere is proposing a new three-story building with apartments and office space for the Amherst Office Park in Pomeroy Village center.

Developer Ronald LaVerdiere is proposing a new three-story building with apartments and office space for the Amherst Office Park in Pomeroy Village center. CONTRIBUTED

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 05-17-2024 11:42 AM

AMHERST — A new three-story building that will add nine apartments and two office spaces is being proposed as part of the Amherst Office Park in the Pomeroy village center.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is set to hold a hearing on May 23 at 6 p.m. on the application for a 5,712-square-foot mixed-use project at 395 West St. from developer Ronald LaVerdiere.

The new building, which would rise next to the existing seven-building Amherst Office Park, would be built on the site of a 1950s-era ranch-style home that would be demolished. The site already has four other mixed-use buildings.

A special permit for the development is needed so that a mixed-use building can be constructed in the residential village center zone, as well as for constructing a raised walkway, in place of a driveway, as part of the flood prone conservancy zoning bylaw.

Plans show 23 parking spaces, of which two are reserved as handicapped spots, and one is van-accessible.

LaVerdiere’s application states that the existing four-bedroom, 1½-bathroom  home, used by the state for a housing assistance program before he acquired it, has continued to be rented for a number of years, but is showing its age, with “floor joists and roof rafters (that) have deflected from many years of snow and occupancy loads.”

The new building will have two office units, each with storage, and the nine apartments, each also with storage. Those apartments will be two one-bedroom, six two-bedroom, and one four-bedroom.

The application also offers reasoning for the development: “Since the COVID pandemic we have had many inquiries about separate entrance, single room office space contiguous with a rental apartment. These requests are a result of the COVID pandemic and its effects on the way people work. Our proposed new building is our way of supplying the needs and requests coming from our community.”

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It goes on to state that “the goal was to encourage a functioning home office as part of a residential unit that could allow for a private office with private entry which would separate home and office. So, while the design has 18 bedrooms, the concept allows for some of these bedrooms to be used as a home office space.”

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.