Concord has a new offer to demolish the downtown job security building and add 64 new apartments

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Published: 04/30/2021 2:15:08 PM

The empty South Main Street job security building would be demolished and replaced with a six-story apartment building under a proposal that will get a public hearing next month.

The city signed a buy and sell agreement with Flatley Co., one of the state’s largest commercial real estate developers. According to the plan, Concord would sell the building for $ 350,000, slightly more than the assessed value of the land on the 3/4 acre parcel. Flately proposes to replace it with “around 64 apartments at market price” with 54 on-site parking spaces, to be completed by summer 2023.

The new building would be approximately 80,000 square feet, approximately three times the size of the current building. Adjacent buildings on the block, including the Eagle Hall, would not be affected except for the replacement of some utility lines.

The original designs for the new apartments do not show this by retaining the distinctive, if not always popular, multi-colored panels of the current building.

The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing at the next city council meeting on May 10.

The building at 32-34 S. Main St. has been empty since the State Department of Employment Security moved to the campus of the old New Hampshire hospital in 2014. Concord purchased the building for $ 1.575 million and he’s been trying to get it ever since. transformed into accommodation, preferably with some businesses on the ground floor.

They came closer in 2019 when developers offered to replace it and adjacent buildings with 125 apartments plus parking and a restaurant, but city council balked at a request for $ 3.5 million in funding through the Sears Block tax district of the city, which includes this site.

Matt Walsh, manager of downtown Concord redevelopment and services, noted that the sale price is lower than land used for an apartment building – “normally around $ 15,000 per unit,” which would be approximately $ 960,000 for 64 units. He said Flatley Co.’s agreement to relocate some utilities and demolish the existing building means “we think that’s fair market value.”

One disappointment with the Flatley plan is that it is not for mixed use. The facilities would only be available to tenants, Walsh said.

Under the buy and sell agreement, the city would spend up to $ 372,000 to remove asbestos from the building before it is demolished. Of that amount, $ 172,500 would come from a “brownfield cleanup” grant from the State Department of Environmental Services, with the remainder coming from the city’s economic development reserve.

As part of the District Sears Block Tax Increment Financing, which was established in 2003 to spur development around what is now the Concord Hotel, property taxes paid by increasing the value of the new structure would go into a fund to pay for the costs of improvements in the neighborhood.

Walsh estimated that the building would generate between $ 215,000 and $ 275,000 in taxes per year once it opens, and said it was likely that the TIF neighborhood will start paying directly into the general fund after repayment of the debt of the Storrs Street parking garage in 2026.

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or [email protected] or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)

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