Belchertown Redevelopment Moves Forward With Cleanup, Demolition

Belchertown, MA – MassDevelopment and the Belchertown Economic Development Industrial Corporation (BEDIC) announced the demolition of the Belchertown State School by Associated Building Wreckers of Springfield. Demolition of several buildings and tunnels, including the school’s hospital building, will open up pad 1, the site where Grantham Group LLC, a Boston-based assisted living developer, plans to build an 83-unit complex (more than 40 of which will be affordable).

Belchertown State School SiteMassDevelopment, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ finance and development authority, is undertaking the redevelopment of the Belchertown State School as part of its mission to redevelop surplus government properties. The site, only a 20-minute walk from the historic downtown and 10 miles outside of the Town of Amherst, once housed a school for the developmentally disabled that closed in 1992.

Today, the Belchertown Economic Development Industrial Corporation (BEDIC) controls the land.  MassDevelopment entered into a memorandum of agreement with BEDIC in 2012 and is now the agent redeveloping the site.

The site is  93 acres containing 36 buildings and two miles of underground tunnels. As a result of the site’s size, MassDevelopment has split the redevelopment into phases.

Phase I, which began in 2014, involves reviving a 3.1-acre parcel to lay the groundwork for assisted living. Following an extensive engineering study that assessed hazardous materials, MassDevelopment hired the Associated Building Wreckers of Springfield to remove  asbestos-containing materials, and demolish six buildings and selected tunnels. Following the demolition phase, Grantham Group LLC, a Boston-based assisted living developer, will build an 83-unit assisted living complex. The complex, to be named Christopher Heights of Belchertown, will include more than 40 affordable units adjacent to the existing Belchertown Senior Center.

Phase II will include the creation of a senior independent living center next to the new assisted living complex, as a continuum of the retirement community. This center will anchor a mixed-use redevelopment.