Around the Hamptons: Biz publication lauds Easthampton as ‘hidden gem’; free concerts at Conant Park; and more

Business View Magazine recently named Easthampton as one of the best managed cities in its “Best of 2024” series for its “salt-of-the-earth charm” and burgeoning economic momentum.

Business View Magazine recently named Easthampton as one of the best managed cities in its “Best of 2024” series for its “salt-of-the-earth charm” and burgeoning economic momentum. Glen Labay/Aerial Camera Services

By ALEXA LEWIS

Staff Writer

Published: 06-13-2024 2:01 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The vibrant culture and ample opportunities that abound in Easthampton have been recognized by Business View Magazine, which recently awarded the city as one of the best managed cities in its “Best of 2024” series.

Called “a hidden gem among other bustling cities in the Pioneer Valley,” Easthampton grabbed the magazine’s attention with its simultaneous “salt-of-the-earth charm” and burgeoning economic momentum. From Mt. Tom to Main Street, Business View recognized the efforts of Easthampton to maintain its fundamental small-town feel while also prioritizing the necessary expansion to succeed in the future.

Business View provides news about businesses, entrepreneurs and more across North America in their monthly publication. On their digital platform, they cover the latest developments in business and municipal strategies, as well as publishing awards such as yearly “Best of” lists and lists of “America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies.”

The city of Easthampton was lauded by Business View in a profile on the city not only for its natural beauty, but also for its colorful community of artists, small businesses, and growing social scene that has drawn a younger demographic to the area.

“Over the last several years, Easthampton has seen a riveting combination of cultural, artistic, and economic influence embed itself into residents’ lives,” said the magazine.

Business View also applauded the city’s ongoing efforts to implement ambitious affordable housing solutions.

“A dedication to affordable housing will only make the city more attractive for families, renters and elders struggling to stay in Easthampton and break into the larger surrounding communities, such as Northampton, Springfield, or Holyoke,” they said.

The magazine also emphasized the efforts being made by the city and Mayor Nicole LaChapelle to improve the interconnectivity of the city’s amenities, especially to the mill district which has long been somewhat cut off from the rest of the community.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Two die in Thursday crashes in Northampton, Westhampton
Northampton woman nominated for superior court judgeship
The town that declutters together: Belchertown holds community-wide yard sale, Aug. 9-11
An intimate concert in the hills: Watermelon Wednesdays celebrates 25 years of presenting world-class acoustic music
Dearth of judges causing court bottleneck in Hampshire Superior Court, across state
Food, friends, music and beer: Food Truck Fridays is the place to be in Easthampton this summer

Road and sidewalk construction projects such as the Main Street and Union Street improvement projects, community events such as Cultural Chaos, and ambitious affordable housing projects all had their part to play in gaining Easthampton recognition for its current successes and future potential.

Cottage Street tenants to meet about rent increases

EASTHAMPTON — The newly formed Cottage Street Tenant Association, a collection of artists who rent studios at One Cottage Street, will hold a community meeting on June 25 to discuss impending rent increases and the impact that this will have on tenants.

Building owner Riverside Industries, the nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering adults with disabilities, announced that it would equalize all tenant rents to $15 per square foot. This change is part of the company’s ongoing strategic planning project, which involves some much-needed renovations to the aging building, such as a new fire suppression system and central boiler.

However, for many tenants this change in rent presents a large increase over the much lower rates that they have been paying, some for more than 30 years. Tenants have expressed that the rent increase will price them out of their studios, and the Tenant Association desires a formal meeting with the Riverside board of directors to discuss the issue.

“If artists are forced out of One Cottage, the result will be a change to the cultural climate of Easthampton and a sign that gentrification has begun in earnest,” they said in an announcement of the upcoming community meeting.

The Tenant Association will meet at 7 p.m. in the Blue Room at Old Town Hall, and members of the public are encouraged to join.

Free concerts all summer at Conant Park

SOUTHAMPTON — Sarah the Fiddler will perform at the Conant Park Pavilion on June 26 as part of a free summer concert series presented by the Southampton Lions Club. The performance will take place at 7 p.m. and lawn seating will be available.

The Lions Club’s free concerts will be held at the Conant Park Pavilion throughout the summer, culminating with a barbecue and concert performance by Off The Record on Sept. 14. Union Jack will perform on July 10, Salute to Neil Diamond will perform on July 24, King Kountry will perform on Aug. 7, Time Travelers will perform on Aug. 9, and Johnny and the Flashbacks will perform on Aug. 21.

These concerts are supported by local sponsors and a grant from the Southampton Cultural Council.

Easthampton seeks to fill vacant volunteer positions

EASTHAMPTON — The city is encouraging residents to apply for a slate of volunteer board and committee positions that are vacant.

Currently, the following boards and committees are seeking new members: Agricultural Commission, Biodiversity Environment and Ecological Sustainability Committee, Board of Health, Charity Funds Committee, Commission on Disability, Community Relations Committee, Conservation Commission, Council on Aging, Easthampton City Arts Coordinating Committee, Economic Development and Industrial Commission, Energy Advisory Committee, Manhan Rail Trail Committee, Main Street Cemetery Committee, Veterans Council and Zoning Board of Appeals.

Nonotuck Pool to host grand reveal

EASTHAMPTON — The Nonotuck Pool Improvement Project will be celebrated on June 20 from 5-6 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new pool and a spray park improvement project at Nonotuck Park.

Refreshments will be provided at the event, and residents will have the chance to get a look at the improved pool, which will be open for swimming beginning June 23. Music will be provided by DJ Nick Tanguay.

Once the community pool opens, it will be open Tuesday through Friday from 2 to 7 p.m., and on weekends from noon to 7 p.m. The daily fee for adults will be $5 for residents and $6 for non-residents, and for children aged 6 to 16 it will be $3 for residents and $4 for non-residents.

Individuals over 60 years old, or 5 years old and younger, may enter for free. Disabled persons may enter for free with a placard.

Poolgoers may also purchase a season pass. Adult season passes are $70 for residents and $110 for non-residents, while child season passes are $50 for residents and $85 for non-residents. Family passes are $130 for resident families and $180 for non-resident families.

To receive a resident rate for any of these modes of entry, individuals must provide proof of Easthampton residency, such as a driver’s license.

Alexa Lewis can be reached at alewis@gazettenet.com or on Instagram and Twitter at @alexamlewis.