Vision 2020 V.1.1
Since late 2017, we've been designing a couple programs / concepts for the abandoned churches in Northampton. In 2018, I met with builders, potential investors, UMass Engineering students as well as the City of Northampton with a micro apartment development concept for 3 Elm Street, St. Mary's Church was originally designed by Patrick W. Ford, an Irish-born architect in 1881. The most recent concept did not get traction primarily because we couldn’t make the ROI (Return on Investment) numbers work.
Now that we are focusing on technology and have an interest in Northampton’s on-going sustainability, perhaps, a net-zero data management center similar to the MGHPCC or even more promising, a MassNZ2 (with the advent of magnetic electricity instead of batteries) as a suitable re-use program for some if not all of the vacant churches and significant landmarks in Northampton?
The churches’ open horizontal footprint coupled by current economic situation could possibly provide a sufficient ROI on debt-based asset renovations of these well-build, historical landmarks within the Valley. This mid-macroeconomic development vision would be attractive to tech businesses, higher-ed, developers, project and property managers, municipal and potentially world-wide partners to name a few. Furthermore, it would be a massive, high-profile opportunity to partner with, Boston University, MIT, Northeastern, UMass, Harvard and again, with Amherst College. Not to mention, shape the Northampton economy, five colleges and surrounding region.
Attached is the Vision 20/20 V.1.1 report. This report revisits Northampton's 20-year comprehensive plan with a focus on economic development. We very much look forward to your thoughts and feedback.