Amherst Carriage Shop Business Owners Prepare for Move
AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) –Amherst’s Carriage Shops have been around for decades. Soon they will be a memory, since more than 75% of shop owners here agreed to sell their share of the co-op, so it can be torn down.
Elaina Dabbous wasn’t one of them. “I been here for 3 years, and I thought this was going to keep continuing for years. Till maybe I retire. We’re kind of sad about that. We don’t actually want this carriage shop to go,” she expressed.
A few months ago business owners learned the property would be sold, and likely knocked down.
Keren Rhodes says her landlord gave her a heads up that she should start looking for a new space for her Glazed Donut Shop. “We’ve only been here 18 months. We put everything we had into this store. This used to be an old cellphone store. We put every penny we had into remodeling it and making it a commercial kitchen, and now we’re walking away from that investment,” said Rhodes.
Rhodes says she actually doesn’t mind the move, since they’ve already found another spot downtown.
They’re hoping to move this summer, even though it might take as long as a year for any transaction to go through. Rhodes hopes she can raise enough money for the move, or else she’ll have to close her doors.
Jerald Gates owns many of the shops. When we called him, he declined to comment.
“There’s been no formal development proposal for the carriage shops, just know that there are entities out there interested in developing that whole space,” Town Manager John Musante stated.
Town Manager John Musante would like to see the space become an innovation center, a mix of businesses and residential spaces.
The post World War II building was last upgraded in the 1970’s.
Renovations to make it accessible would be expensive, and fall mostly to the small business owners.