Rudy Vogel, Managing Partner for NuForj, the principal company behind the proposed Eruptor, a business incubator planned for North Amherst, announced on Tuesday (12/14) that the developers were withdrawing their application to the Amherst Conservation Commission for an Abbreviated Notice of Resources Area Delineation (ANDRAD). That application, which is supposed to confirm the delineation of a bordering vegetated wetland, was withdrawn without prejudice, leaving open the possibility of bringing the application back in the future. The withdrawal followed a dispute over wetlands boundaries at the proposed site on Sunderland Road, and the receipt by the Conservation Commission of a new report from Stockman Associates documenting that the wetlands on the proposed site are more extensive than first described.
Vogel’s announcement ruled out a future Eruptor project at the Sunderland Road site. He said:
“Based on the required environmental review by SWCA Environmental Consultants we have determined that there is not sufficient developable acreage on the contracted site to build the ERUPTOR as envisioned. To scale it down to what may be possible, would result in a project that is not economically viable and inconsistent with our vision for this innovative and revolutionary project. Our senior leadership team and development partner Scannell Properties have been approached by business and government leaders in a number of regional centers around our country and beyond regarding the ERUPTOR. In the short term, we will concentrate on some of those locations.”
Vogel suggested that his partnership remains open to other opportunities in Amherst. He said,
“We are not giving up on Amherst or, Western Massachusetts. We will still be on the lookout for opportunity here in the Pioneer Valley, preferably close to the University of Massachusetts. Being in proximity to and partnering with research University campuses is part of our business model and it is still our desire to have an Eruptor located near and partnering with our Massachusetts public flagship campus.