One year after it rejected a student housing complex, the Amherst Town Board this week reconsidered and approved the contentious $50 million project.
The board on Wednesday lifted the deed restrictions and issued the special-use permit allowing Core Campus to build the 154-unit, four-story building on 6.4 acres on North Forest Road near Bryant Woods South. Core Campus is a major developer of student housing across the country but this is its first local project.
The Town Board last July voted down the development after tenants of the nearby Bryant Woods Office Park raised concerns about student misconduct and traffic safety. Core Campus sued the town in August, and a State Supreme Court justice in March ruled in the developer’s favor.
Wednesday's approval came after Warren Clark, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York, said the BBB had considered expanding at the office park. He warned the board's approval would drive the agency to a new location. Clark also said Core Campus representatives previously "stretched the truth and outright lied" to the Town Board.
Jeffery D. Palumbo, Core Campus' attorney, defended the project and denied misleading the board.
Amherst Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa said there is a demand for student housing in the town and he does not object to the project.
The developer now heads to the Amherst Planning Board for site plan approval.