November 28, 2023


Good Living

Concord land deal could lead to 600 new housing units along Merrimack River

Early designs to produce a 95-acre parcel of land together the Merrimack River would include additional than 600 models of housing in a combined-use project along Interstate-93 and the railroad, north of the Concord Monitor building.

The opportunity task near Exit 17 is dependent on the sale of the land, which is owned by Newspapers of New England.

“It’s undoubtedly not a completed deal,” mentioned Kevin Lacasse, CEO of New England Relatives Housing, which is underneath deal to invest in the river-entrance land that was outlined at $3.285 million. The Monitor setting up is not section of the sale.

A strategy for Lacasse’s task lays out five most important parts, including 120 inexpensive residences, 82 proprietor-occupied condos, 200 market-rate apartments, and an further 250 models in a walkable “urban village,” with residences set over industrial or retail spaces.

The conditions for defining “affordable” will count on the funding supply for the development and irrespective of whether subsidies are used, Lacasse claimed. 

In addition to the housing, the growth could include either self-storage or a “flex industrial” area, with businesses’ front places of work or showrooms in entrance and workshops or light-weight manufacturing in the again. 

“If all the stars align and we can sail on observe and on best of all the things, we’re pondering most likely about a yr ahead of we get approval in place and then building will start out someday following that,” Lacasse stated. “The just one surety is we’re relocating forward as quick as we can.”

New England Relatives Housing, based in New Hampton, is at present picking out an engineering business to design the task right before programs go just before the city. 

The city’s approval process could contain rezoning. The Interchange Advancement retail project off of Exit 17 of I-93 received acceptance for gateway functionality zoning that allowed plans for a browsing complex with a new Sector Basket and New Hampshire Liquor Store to move ahead. 

Ward 1 City Councilor Brent Todd reported he is hopeful about Lacasse’s task, and is “standing by” to help with general public outreach to ward residents. 

Todd is enthusiastic about the thought of a multi-use urban village in distinct. “I feel it is some thing that would be special to Concord and appealing to people today who want to dwell below,” he stated. 

As professional residence valuations fall in Concord and household house assessments have soared, home owners have taken on a greater share of house taxes. 

“We’re continually on the lookout in the metropolis for means to relieve the tax stress on citizens,” Todd mentioned. “One of the means to do that is economic improvement.”

Lacasse said that including any type of housing would increase affordability. In 2021, Concord’s rental emptiness level was .6%. 

“There’s so a lot demand from customers for personnel but the problem is staff have no position to shift,” Lacasse claimed.

Before this month, the New Hampshire Executive Council authorized a $100 million housing investment decision fund that will use American Rescue Plan Act dollars to offer grants to multi-loved ones housing developers, among the other housing initiatives. 

Lacasse stated the fund’s approval inspired him to move ahead with the land offer. 

“We have superior momentum of market place conditions and we have fantastic momentum via the political outlook proper now,” Lacasse stated. “We really feel the timing is right for a task of this scale.”

The project would include to a flurry of planned construction in the city, such as a combined-use improvement off Exit 12 at the aged push-in film theater and new residences at the previous Section of Employment Protection making downtown. Other workforce housing projects include 192 flats off Langdon Avenue in the city’s south end and 123 two-bed room residences on Pembroke Highway and Sheep Davis Street in the Heights section of the city.

Brady Sullivan, 1 of the state’s greatest improvement organizations, owns two houses – the previous Section of Transportation buildings close to Exit 14 and the former Lincoln Financial residence, which includes a person of two professional buildings and 181 acres of land in the heart of the metropolis – which have but to see formal housing proposals.

If Lacasse’s designs are profitable, the challenge would be a single of the greatest developments in Concord in quite a few years. 

“He has a strategy that should help retain housing accessible for the people of Penacook and Harmony,” claimed Aaron Julien, chairman of Newspapers of New England, which owns the Monitor  and encompassing land. “He’s been good to get the job done with, and we wish him the very best.”