From The Republican
By Fred Contrada
Friday, December 12, 2008
The state Development Finance Agency cleared the first hurdle in its efforts to add 100 units of housing to Village Hill this week as the Citizens Advisory Committee overseeing the project approved the addition.
The Development Finance Agency is a quasi-public agency charged with developing the sprawling campus of the former Northampton State Hospital into a mix of commercial, industrial and residential space. The original plan called for 207 units of housing on the 536-acre property. A provision in the plan allowed for an expansion of up to 227 units without the city’s approval. If the latest request successfully passes through the city’s planning process, the number of units could grow to 327.
Some city residents said they are astounded that the state agency wants to add housing on Village Hill at a time when the real estate market has been in free-fall.