Affordable housing construction set to begin at Merrimack and Chestnut

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The first shovels of dirt are dug at the corner of Merrimack and Chestnut Streets. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, N.H. – On a very chilly Wednesday morning, city officials and local business leaders gathered near the corner of Merrimack and Chestnut Streets to inaugurate construction on new affordable housing that will be coming to that intersection.

Lincoln Avenue Capital will construct housing at 351 Chestnut St., the former site of the Manchester Police Department headquarters, as well as at 80 Merrimack St., another currently vacant lot. A small park will be placed between the two new buildings and the Norris Cotton Federal Building and a third development at 167 Lake Ave. operated by Families in Transition that will help create emergency housing for families experiencing homelessness.

The groundbreaking represents what is the largest investment by a private real estate developer in Manchester history and one of the largest affordable housing developments in state history.

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351 Chestnut St. (right) and 80 Merrimack St. (left) will become part of a 142-unit affordable housing development. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Combined, the projects will create 142 units of apartments for individuals making anywhere from 0-60 percent of the city’s average median annual income or AMI. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Manchester’s AMI in 2020 was $33,675 for an individual or $62,087 for a household. Within those units, 30 will be set aside for veterans.

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig also noted that Lincoln Avenue Capital is working with local artists to incorporate public art into the new buildings and open spaces that will be placed at the intersection.

“Instead of abandoned buildings and empty parking lots, this corner will become home to three new apartment buildings teeming with life,” she said.

Three projects were supported by $3 million in federal grant funding allocated to Manchester and approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, waivers for building permit fees until issuance of a certificate of occupancy as well as other funding from the city and InvestNH for affordable housing development, part of approximately $18.5 million allocated by the city during Craig’s tenure as mayor.

80 Merrimack Street Design
80 Merrimack Street Design
351 Chestnut Street Design 1
351 Chestnut Street Design

About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.