In the News

Westwood project is worthy of our support (Buffalo News, Sept. 29, 2017)

Public cites drainage, increased traffic as main concerns (Amherst Bee, Sept. 20, 2017)

Mensch lawsuit alleges town in violation of Open Meetings Law (Amherst Bee, Sept. 20, 2017)

Hours before public hearing, lawsuit filed over Westwood development (WIVB, Sept. 19, 2017) 

Developer sues Amherst as Westwood neighbors oppose 'megalopolis' project (Buffalo News, Sept. 18, 2017)

Amherst Planning Board cites sewer capacity in delaying Westwood (Buffalo News, Sept. 15, 2017

Westwood project on Amherst Planning Board agenda
(Buffalo News, Sept. 13, 2017)

Amherst Sets first hearing since January on Westwood project
(Buffalo News, Aug. 15, 2017)

Amherst seeks to jump-start review of long-delayed Westwood project (Buffalo News, Aug. 11, 2017)

Another Voice: Amherst takes foolish action on Westwood property (Buffalo News, June 23, 2017)

Will Amherst acquire Westwood Country Club through eminent domain? (Buffalo News, June 20, 2017)

Amherst discusses plans for former Westwood Club (WGRZ-TV, June 20, 2017)

Amherst Hires Attorney to Review Former Westwood Country Club (Spectrum News-TV, June 20, 2017)

Amherst exploring option of eminent domain to acquire Westwood Country Club (WKBW June 20, 2017)

Battle over former country club in Amherst takes a turn (WIVB, June 20, 2017)

Neighbors help shape 4th version of controversial Westwood project (Buffalo News, March 22, 2017)

Westwood plans may not be changed (Amherst Bee, March 8, 2017)

Mensch still seeking community input (Amherst Bee, January 25, 2017)

Amherst Town Board OKs 60 percent cut in Westwood assessment (Buffalo News, Jan. 17, 2017)

Westwood Country Club assessment would fall under settlement (Buffalo News, Jan. 16, 2017)

Mensch Capital submits updated plans for Westwood property (Amherst Bee, Dec. 28, 2016)

Mensch group adds green space, fire station to Westwood Country Club redevelopment plan (Dec. 20, 2016)

Army Corps won’t block proposed Westwood Country Club project (Buffalo News, Aug. 2, 2016)

Letter:  Developing Westwood would benefit taxpayers (Amherst Bee, June 8, 2016)

What's next for the (former) Westwood Country Club? (WKBW-TV, June 1, 2016)

Letter:  Westwood situation needs compromises (Amherst Bee, May 24, 2016)

Letter:  Town needs to resolve problems at Westwood (The Buffalo News, May 22, 2016)

Amherst Bee readers call for cleanup of Westwood site
(May 4, 2016)

Decades of contamination complicate proposal for Westwood site (The Buffalo News, Apr. 26, 2016)

Everyone will benefit from cleanup of Westwood site (Andy Shaevel's op-ed in The Buffalo News, Apr. 24, 2016)

Get started on cleanup of Westwood property (Buffalo News letter, Apr. 13, 2016)

Amherst to pay Huntress $4 million for damages, legal fees (Buffalo News, Apr. 12, 2016)

Westwood plan now focuses on site cleanup (Amherst Bee, Letter to the Editor, by Andrew J. Shaevel, Mensch Capital managing partner, Apr. 6, 2016)

Deal scuttled that would have put new state park in Town of Amherst (Buffalo News, Apr. 6, 2016)

Plan to buy Glen Oak killed (Amherst Bee, Apr 6, 2016)

Supervisor updates Glen Oak purchase process; Mensch Capital Partners propose new, comprehensive land swap (Amherst Bee, Mar. 16, 2016)

Read complete statement about proposed land swap from Andrew J. Shaevel, managing partner, Mensch Capital Partners  (Mar. 16, 2016)

Westwood pollution worse than first thought (WIVB-TV, Feb.5, 2016)

Mensch Capital proposal fits scope of comprehensive plan (Amherst Bee, Feb. 3, 2016)

(Westwood) Plans are appealing, would benefit town (Amherst Bee, Letter to the Editor, Jan. 27, 2016)

Westwood activists take selfish stance (Amherst Bee, Letter to the Editor, Jan. 27, 2016)

(Williamsville) Village officials cite concerns about proposed Westwood development (Buffalo News, Jan. 14, 2016)

Village seeks input on Westwood site (Amherst Bee, Jan. 13, 2016)

Amherst accepts draft environmental statement on Westwood site (Buffalo News, Dec. 29, 2015)

Town decides multiple zoning requests (Amherst Bee, Dec. 9, 2015)

Amherst Town Board schedules Dec. 28 meeting on Westwood plans
(Buffalo News, Dec. 8, 20150

Environmental study of Westwood could kick off review of $238 million plan
(Buffalo News, Dec. 7, 2015)

Westwood property could see first movement in over a year
(WIVB-TV, Dec. 2, 2015)

Weinstein proposal for Amherst golf course swap gains backing
(Buffalo News. 20, 2015)

Supervisor details proposal for Glen Oak purchase
 (Amherst Bee, Nov. 18, 2015)

Supervisor's proposal deserves further review (Amherst Bee Editorial, Nov. 18, 2015)

 

 

Amherst set to make bid on Westwood Country Club property (Buffalo News, Sept. 22, 2015)

Amherst Town Board looks to build park at former Westwood Country Club (WIVB-TV, Sept. 19, 2015)

Amherst asks about purchasing Westwood Country Club
(Buffalo News, Sept. 16, 2015)

Developer of former Westwood Country Club to install protective fence
 (WKBW-TV, Sept. 8, 2015)

Westwood property surrounded by protective fence
(Business First, Sept. 8, 2015)

Steel fence to surround former Westwood Country Club (Buffalo News, Sept. 7, 2015)

Amherst wants more details on Westwood redevelopment (Buffalo News, May 13, 2015)

Buyers grab golf carts, mowers, at Westwood auction
 (Business First, Apr. 22, 2015)

Plans to redevelop country club continue, equipment auctioned off (WIVB-TV, Apr. 21, 2015)

Auction day at Westwood Country Club (WKBW-TV, Apr. 21, 2015)

Westwood's golf assets to be auctioned April 21 (Business First, Apr 20, 2105)

Westwood Country Club auctioning equipment (Buffalo News, Apr. 4, 2015)


 

The Buffalo News:  Hot housing market has Amherst reassessing (Mar. 4, 2015)

A hot housing market in parts of Amherst means that more homeowners are likely to have their properties reassessed this year.

The Town of Amherst plans to update the assessments on several thousand more residential properties than originally anticipated, because home values are out of sync in some neighborhoods where houses are selling quickly and for more than what they’re assessed by the town, said Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein.

Amherst plans to hire a consultant to help appraise a minimum of 5,000 residential properties by early May, said Assessor Ann M. Terranova.

That’s on top of the 7,300 homes to which the town had already expected to send reassessment notices this year. Read more



Amherst may sell Audubon land, raise funds to buy Glen Oak Golf Course (Buffalo News, Nov. 17, 2015)

Amherst supervisor presents option to turn Westwood into park (WGRZ-TV, Nov. 16, 2015)

Amherst may still make offer to purchase Westwood CC from developer (WGRZ-TV, Oct. 5, 2015)

Amherst would be unwise to acquire Westwood site (Buffalo News Letter to the Editor, Oct. 5, 2015)


Westwood owners are acting responsibly (Buffalo News Letter to the Editor, Oct. 3, 2015)

Despite continued assertions that the recently erected fence around the former Westwood Country Club was built out of spite, the site is and has been determined by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to be a contaminated brownfield. Mensch Capital Partners erected the fence to protect its neighbors, young children and residents of Amherst from contaminants that are known to have adverse effects on individuals with compromised immune systems, while also mitigating the liability associated with unfettered access to a contaminated site.

To be clear, Mensch has no interest in owning a 170-acre fenced-off brownfield in the center of Amherst. Our interest is to clean up the property and to responsively develop it as a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhood with over 60 acres of publicly accessible parks and green space. Our proposal is in line with the town’s Bicentennial Comprehensive Plan, which has among its stated goals: quality new development, open space, sensitivity to environmental resources and promoting a healthy tax and employment base.

The proposed Mensch project does all that and more.

Andrew J. Shaevel
Managing Partner
Mensch Capital Partners

The Buffalo News - Cuomo should agree to bill extending tax credits for cleaning up brownfields (Dec. 14, 2014)

Soon, if reports are accurate, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will be presented with a bill to extend temporarily the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program. For Buffalo, Western New York and other regions with contaminated properties that will not otherwise be developed, it is urgent that he approve the legislation.

Indeed, the measure is perfectly aligned with the governor’s determination to restart the Buffalo economy. The signature project in that massive effort, the RiverBend project, is being constructed on a remediated brownfield site.

The program provides valuable tax credits to developers who undertake the challenge of reusing old industrial sites that would otherwise remain contaminated eyesores. Read more


The Buffalo News - Indian artifacts found on Westwood Country Club Site (Dec. 5, 2014)

Researchers conducting a preliminary archaeological survey of the Westwood Country Club property in Amherst found some evidence of Native American artifacts on a small portion of the 170 acres. Owners of the property said the findings were not enough to prevent their plans for a mixed-use redevelopment project from going forward.

The investigation by Heritage Preservation & Interpretation Inc., a cultural resource consulting firm hired by Westwood owner Mensch Capital Partners LLC, discovered some flakes of a sedimentary rock called chert, or flint, which was often used centuries ago by Native American tribes in making stone tools.  Read more


The Buffalo News - Westwood Country Club closing down a year ahead of schedule (Nov. 19, 2014)

After more than seven decades of continuous operation, the Westwood Country Club’s run is coming to an abrupt end, as financial and environmental woes conspired against it.

Effective immediately, the 25-meter pool and 18-hole golf course at the Amherst facility are closed permanently, while the clubhouse, banquet facility and Windows on the Green restaurant will close Dec. 21, 2015.  That’s a full year ahead of schedule. Facility operators, town leaders, neighbors and club members are now being notified of the decision.  Read more


Business First - Westwood Country Club will cease operations next month; environmental cleanup is next (Nov.  18, 2014)

The final rounds of golf have been played at the venerable Westwood Country Club, and the facility's clubhouse and banquet operation are nearing their end dates, too.

Mensch Capital Partners LLC, owners of the once-popular Amherst country club, confirmed today that its course and pool are permanently closed.

And the company said that the Westwood's banquet facility and Windows on the Green restaurant will permanently close on Dec. 21, 2014. Read more


Buffalo News Letter to the Editor:  Proposal for Westwood would enhance Amherst (Oct. 16, 2014)

Westwood Country Club in Amherst is no longer economically viable, part of a national trend. In August, The News reported the golf industry is in recession, and local golf courses are struggling to survive. Since 2005, 536 golf courses have closed nationwide, including 157 in 2013.

What do you replace a golf course with when it is no longer economically viable?

Town leaders and residents had the wisdom to envision this type of scenario – “when continued operation (of a golf course) becomes difficult due to changing demographic, economic or social trends”.  Read more


The Buffalo News - Buffalo area golf courses recording under par performance (Aug 29, 2014)

Now is not the best time to be in the golf business.

More courses.

Fewer golfers.

Even those who like to golf don’t have as much time – or money – to play.

A good example is what’s going on in Amherst.

The town continues to lose money operating its three golf courses, where the number of rounds played each year is falling. Now, after years of mounting losses, Amherst is considering privatizing its municipal courses in hopes of at least breaking even.

“When you take a look at the number of golf courses in the area, I’m sure all the courses are struggling a little bit,” said Eric Guzdek, who oversees golf operations for Amherst.

In fact, the rounds of golf played at Erie County’s Elma Meadows and Grover Cleveland have been on a steady decline for years.

Numbers are down at Brighton and Sheridan Park golf courses in the Town of Tonawanda, too.

Even the private country clubs are feeling it.  Read More. 


 

Amherst Bee Letter to the Editor - Town’s Comprehensive Plan is blueprint for new Westwood  (Aug. 6,  2014)

What do you do with a golf course when it goes out of business?

As the owners of Westwood Country Club, we are dealing with this question.  Once it became apparent that we would not be able to exchange Westwood for the Audubon Golf Course, we turned to the Town’s Bicentennial Comprehensive Plan, and that is where we found the answer.

Town leaders and residents together envisioned this scenario when they enacted the Plan.  

The Plan has several goals:  quality new development, open space, sensitivity to environmental resources, promoting a healthy tax base, preventing adverse commercial development and addressing traffic and flooding issues.

The new Westwood addresses all those goals.  In a sense, the Town’s Plan is the Westwood plan.

Our plan for Westwood includes 64 acres of parks, lakes, ponds, and pedestrian and bike trails (38 percent of the site).  It follows the Town vision for livable neighborhoods and pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use developments.  Westwood respects quality of life, expands the Town’s tax base and values community character.

The new Westwood focuses on the Town’s objective to create housing diversity through a variety of residential types and styles, pedestrian friendly design, and the strategic placement of new mixed-use centers.    

As we continue to refine our plans, we are meeting with Town officials and neighbors, briefing them on the project and listening to their thoughts and suggestions.    We are interested in hearing from all residents of the Town, and we remain dedicated to being open, honest and available as the review process for the new Westwood moves forward.

The new Westwood takes a site that is exclusively reserved for 350 members and opens it to the public.  The new Westwood is smart growth, expands the tax base and creates an exciting, new, traditional neighborhood in the heart of Amherst.

Andrew J. Shaevel
Managing Partner
Mensch Capital Partners, LLC
Williamsville

Download letter


The Buffalo News - Westwood reinvention plan faces at least a year of review (July 11, 2014)

The proposal to build a sprawling $238 million mixed-use “neighborhood” at the struggling Westwood Country Club in Amherst faces at least a year of scrutiny before any construction could begin.

The vast plan unveiled Thursday calls for developing a 170-acre parcel in the heart of a town that has seen citizens organize and protest much smaller projects.

Put forth by Mensch Capital Partners LLC, the investor group that purchased the country club two years ago, the plan envisions a variety of housing for 1,700 people, storefronts, offices, a hotel and parkland. Read More.



WBFO Radio - Plans call for turning former country club into $238 million 'neighborhood' (July 10, 2014) 

The Westwood Country Club in Amherst could be the site of what is being called a "new traditional neighborhood."

The property at Sheridan Drive and North Forest Road is owned by Mensch Capital Partners. Managing Partner Andrew Shaevel says plans include a mix of hundreds of residential units, retail space, a small hotel and green space.

Shaevel says the $238 million project is an example of "smart growth." Read More. 


WGRZ-TV - Westwood owners announce redevelopment plan (July 11, 2014)

The owners of Westwood Country Club on Sheridan Drive announced a $238 million redevelopment plan for the property.

Mensch Capital Partners, LLC are planning to create a residential neighborhood with a mix of retail and office space and recreational open space, company officials said on Thursday.

"This is smart development using traditional neighborhood design, which includes residential, recreation, neighborhood shops, hospitality and professional office space elements," said Andrew J. Shaevel, managing partner for Mensch in a prepared statement. He cited the Town of Amherst Bicentennial Comprehensive Plan, "which envisioned this very scenario, 'when continued operation (of a golf course) becomes difficult due to changing demographic, economic or social trends.'" Read More. 


The Buffalo News - Developer wants to build $238 million neighborhood on Westwood Country Club property (July 10, 2104)

A new traditional neighborhood has been proposed for the Westwood Country Club site in Amherst, featuring pedestrian-friendly mixed uses.

“This is smart development using traditional neighborhood design, which includes residential, recreation, neighborhood shops, hospitality and professional office space elements,” Andrew J. Shaevel, managing partner for Mensch Capital Partners, said today.

Mensch, which bought the 170-acre site at Sheridan Drive and North Forest Road from its members in 2012, submitted its rezoning proposal to the town today. Read more


Business First - Proposed Westwood redevelopment won't happen soon (July 10, 2014)

An ambitious plan to transform the financially-ailing Westwood Country Club into a mixed-use development anchored by a large residential and green space component faces municipal hurdles in the town of Amherst.

The owners of the 170-acre North Forest Road club, Mensch Capital Partners, officially filed its proposed $230 million redevelopment plan in Amherst Town Hall Thursday morning. First up, will be a review by the Amherst Planning Board, likely to begin in August.

Also on tap, a mandated draft environmental impact study and scheduled neighborhood meetings.

The Amherst Town Board will also get its chance to review the project. Read More.


WIVB-TV - Amherst golf course could be replaced by neighborhood (July 10, 2014) 

Developers have their eyes on a prime spot in Amherst for a major multi-million dollar project where people can live and work.

If Mensch Capital Partners has its way, Westwood Country Club will be transformed into new homes for around 1,600 people with some businesses added to the mix. It would give jobs to more than 2,000 construction workers.

“We’re very excited. We think this is a wonderful example of what new development should look like,” said Andy Shaevel, Managing Partner with Mensch Capital Partners.

In a decade, the Westwood Country Club could feature: 108 patio homes, 90 townhouses, 46 single family homes, 56 rental apartments, and a senior living home. Read More. 


Time Warner Cable News - Plans unveiled for new Amherst Neighborhood (July 10, 2014)

A new neighborhood could be coming to Amherst.

Owners of the Westwood Country Club in Amherst have proposed a $238 million transformation project, to develop a new neighborhood on the club's grounds.

Mensch Capital Partners, the owners of the club on Sheridan Drive and North Forest Road have unveiled a master plan to create a neighborhood, featuring public spaces, residents and a neighborhood center.

The plan includes 64 acres of open space, pedestrian and bike trails, and lake access. There will be more than 100 patio homes, 90 townhouses, nearly 50 single family homes and 56 apartments. The plan also includes assisted living and independent senior homes. Read More. 


WBEN Radio - Plans unveiled for Westwood Site (July 10, 2014)

The owners of Westwood Country Club are unveiling a redevelopment plan to create a new traditional neighborhood in the heart of Amherst that will feature public spaces, a variety of residences and a neighborhood center in Amherst.

This is smart development using traditional neighborhood design, which includes residential, recreation, neighborhood shops, hospitality and professional office space elements,” said Andrew J. Shaevel, managing partner for Mensch Capital Partners.  “Our design includes key components of the Town of Amherst Bicentennial Comprehensive Plan, which envisioned this very scenario, ‘when continued operation (of a golf course) becomes difficult due to changing demographic, economic or social trends.’”

Shaevel says the Town’s plan defines the desired characteristics of future mixed-use development in the Town, and was utilized as the Westwood conceptual plan was developed.  Those characteristics include:

·         Pedestrian-friendly, interconnected, mixed-use development patterns
·         Variety of residential options
·         Strategically located shops and restaurants
·         Preservation of open space
·         Encourage walking and biking within new development

Read More.


The Buffalo News - Amherst to reclassify 102 sites ‘recreation conservation’ in effort to protect green space (July 5, 2014)

Thousands of acres – including parks, golf courses and country clubs – are being reclassified by the Town of Amherst in a strategy to provide additional protection for recreation and open space.

More than 100 public and private properties totaling 3,400 acres will be tagged with the new zoning designation, “recreation conservation,” as part of a lengthy rezoning process undertaken by the Amherst Town Board.

“How the property will be used will not change,” said Gary Black, assistant planning director for the town. Read more


 

Announcements 



Join us! Amherst Planning Board Meeting May 18, 2017

YOU TALKED. WE LISTENED!

Come and learn more about the Revised Westwood Conceptual Master Plan based on your input! Join us at the Amherst Planning Board Meeting, Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 pm at the Town Hall, Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St. Williamsville. SEE YOU THERE!

 

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