From The Republican
By Fred Contrada
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
In January of 2005, MassDevelopment presented the Planning Board an artist’s conception of what the commercial portion of Village Hill Northampton could look like along Route 66. The drawing showed three three-story buildings up close to the street with awnings overhanging the sidewalk. One board member called the concept “sterile” and it was agreed that more trees would make the scene more pedestrian friendly.
No one yet knows what that stretch of road will look like once Kollmorgen Corp., a manufacturer of optical equipment, builds its new 130,000-square-foot facility on the site, but it is certain it won’t look anything the drawing of four years ago.
Despite some discontent about aesthetics, the Planning Board granted Kollmorgen a special permit last week to relocate on the south side of the former Northampton State Hospital complex. That portion was targeted for commercial and industrial development as part of the massive project that came to be branded Village Hill Northampton.