CONCORD, NH – A developer looking to construct hundreds of new housing units near the former Concord Monitor site presented updated plans to the planning board Wednesday, including nearly 300 more housing units than first proposed around 14 months ago.
New England Family Housing’s new Monitor Way proposal, a housing, retail, and recreational project similar to new communities built in both Londonderry and Salem, will be presented to the board for a conceptual design review. The project proposes to build 944 housing units on a 135-acre parcel between the newspaper’s former printing press and office building and an incinerator.
The company said, after input from the community, it decided to add nearly 300 more units, along with another 40 acres added to the project north of the Newspapers of New England property.
151 workforce housing units, 327 market-rate apartments with a mixed-use retail center, 223 standalone market-rate apartments, as well as 71 privately owned townhomes and 172 condominium units that will be a mix of privately owned and rented on the new northern parcel.
More than 100,000 square feet of commercial retail space and 100,000 square feet of self-storage space were also included in the project.
However, a new road connecting it to Whitney Road, the brand-new Market Basket, and other stores at Exit 17 through Wheelabrator-owned property is still not part of the updated project plan. The developer hopes to build one, but the latest rendering does not include the extended road.
“We have met with community members, abutters, business leaders, and interested organizations to fine-tune our vision for Monitor Way, maximizing its potential while protecting the natural beauty of these parcels,” Kevin Lacasse, the CEO of New England Family Housing, said.
Lacasse said the city and county had “a critical need for additional housing” due to an exceedingly low vacancy rate—about one for every 333 apartments.
“A healthy vacancy rate should see one out of every 20 apartments available at any given time,” Lacasse said.
Residential and Public Spaces
Along with the housing, commercial, and self-storage, five acres of open green space for residential and public use would be created, including two miles of new walking trails. Boat access to the Merrimack River would also be available, while nearly half the property would have natural green space preserved.
“We look forward to engaging in a productive conversation with the planning board as we work to deliver much-needed housing, retail, and recreational opportunities for the region,” Lacasse said.
The current zoning of the parcels is industrial. The company will seek approval from the Concord City Council to rezone the land to allow for the proposed mixed-use development. Once built, the company believed more than $6 million annually in property taxes would be put into the city’s coffers.
To learn more about the project, visit the Monitor Way NH website here.
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