Citywide housing projects: Update on progress for 1,400+ market-rate and affordable units

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The former Manchester Police Headquarters building on Chestnut Street. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – In May the city released a working list of various housing projects that were in motion. Below is an update to that list as of Nov. 1, 2022.

The interactive map below includes all the projects, which are color-coded. Purple=Market Rate (782 units); Blue=Affordable (210 units); Orange=Townhouses (106 units); Green=Single-family homes  (27 units + 20 buildable “infill” lots); Yellow=Multi-family units (303 units).

You can click on each house icon in the map for the address and number of units. Map is based on information provided by the city Planning Department.

In addition to the map, a full description of each project from May and the November update is below the map.

1) May 2022 Status: 409 Elm Street. This downtown project was approved by the Planning Board a few years ago but construction was held up by lawsuits. The court issues were resolved and construction is well underway. The project will bring 90 market-rate apartments, in five floors, to the downtown, along with commercial uses on the ground floor.

UPDATE: Building permits have been issued, inspections are underway, and the property owner is hoping to start renting apartments in early 2023. It is not clear if the owner has secured tenants for the ground-floor commercial space. 

2) May 2022 Status: 1211 Elm Street. This is another downtown project that was approved by the Planning Board a few years ago but, due to some financing issues, construction did not get underway until recently.  The building has been largely vacant for the past several years and requires a fair amount of renovation. When completed, there will be 35 market-rate apartments with some commercial uses on the ground floor.

UPDATE: Building permits have been issued, inspections are underway, and the property owner is hoping to start renting apartments in February of 2023. Permits have been issued for two commercial tenants on the ground floor – Helen’s Tailoring and Heng Hai Boba Tea – and they will be ready to move in when the building is completed. 

3) May 2022 Status: 530 & 540 Chestnut Street. These two buildings are being converted from office use to residential use, with 24 new market-rate apartments in total. The building at 540 is complete and moving in residents. The building at 530 is currently undergoing the renovations and should be ready to rent later this year.

UPDATE: The building at 540 Chestnut Street (12 units) has been completed and has a  Certificate of Occupancy, with all units currently rented. The building at 530 Chestnut Street has building permits, and construction and inspections are underway. There are some site improvements required of this property, which have not yet been completed, and it is anticipated that construction may last until early Spring of 2023. 

4) May 2022 Status: 73 Hanover Street. Directly across from the palace Theater is an historic building that has housed offices, small businesses, and restaurants over the years. A local developer recently purchased the building and is converting the upper four floors into 43 market-rate apartments.

UPDATE: A building permit was issued at the end of September and renovations are underway. 

5) May 2022 Status: 62 Lowell Street. The building at this location has had a very successful restaurant on the ground floor for years. Recently the owner decided to change the use of the upper two floors into 9 market-rate apartments.

UPDATE: A building permit was issued at the end of April, renovations have been completed, and a Certificate of Occupancy is about to be issued.  

6) May 2022 Status: 48 Brook Street. Currently a commercial building with different uses, this building is before the  Planning Board for conversion into 10 multi-family apartment units.

UPDATE: The Planning Board approved the project on October 14, 2022. Their building permit is currently under review by the  Plans Examiner and issuance of the permit is likely in the coming days. 

7) May 2022 Status: 50 Lowell Street (the correct address is 25 Lowell Street). This downtown building has had commercial and office uses in the building for many years. It is currently in front of the Planning  Board to convert the five-story building into 50 units of market-rate apartments.

UPDATE: The Planning  Board issued conditional approval on July 21, 2022, for 46 dwelling units and some commercial space on the first floor. Final plans have not yet been submitted for signature. 

8) May 2022 Status: 1000 Elm Street. This 20-story building has been a downtown landmark for many years. Many large law firms and other companies have had offices in this building for decades. Again, with the change in the workplace since COVID, many of those tenants have vacated the building. The owner is currently renovating much of the building into 155 units of market-rate apartments, with some commercial space remaining on the ground floor.

UPDATE: A building permit was issued at the end of June and renovations and inspections are underway. 

9) May 2022 Status: West Auburn Street. A development team from Massachusetts has chosen to invest in  Manchester. They have recently received Planning Board approval to demolish old buildings along  West Auburn, Depot and Canal Streets and will construct a new apartment building with 260 apartments, at market-rate, with a parking garage structure below.

UPDATE: A demolition permit was issued at the end of August and the architect has recently submitted construction plans for a building permit. The review of those plans are underway and it is expected that the building permit will be issued within the next few weeks. 

10) May 2022 Status: Radburn Street. Another development team from Massachusetts recognizes the strong housing market in Manchester and has proposed building 305 multi-family units, in three buildings.  This project will connect Radburn Street with Smyth Road and will provide another outlet for over 1,000 units of housing that currently have only one exit point. The project is currently in front of the  Planning Board and has received positive feedback from the Board members so far. While the majority of the units will be market-rate, the developer has committed to providing 12 units of affordable housing.

UPDATE: The Planning Board issued conditional approval on June 16, 2022. Final plans have not yet been submitted for signature. The developer is still finalizing some title issues with the property. 

11) May 2022 Status: Central Street. A small parcel in the downtown, currently the location of a bar, is proposed to be redeveloped with 77 apartment units in eight stories, with some commercial uses on the ground floor.

UPDATE: The project has gone through the ZBA and is expected to be submitted to the Planning Board in the next few months. The project first went to the Planning Board for a public hearing in October of 2022. The Board continued the hearing until November 3; however, the applicant has requested a further continuance until November 17. The applicant and engineer have been working through utility issues with Manchester DPW. 

12) May 2022 Status: 180 Pearl Street. This property has two buildings on it that were more recently used by the  Currier Museum for art classes and offices. The property was purchased by an owner of tech companies in the City Millyard. The proposal entails the conversion of both buildings into 29 market-rate apartments. The project was approved by the Planning Board and is currently under construction. It was represented that the new owner saw the need for housing for his workers and intends to offer the units to his employees.

UPDATE: This project was recently completed, although a trip back to the Planning Board in September was necessary as the applicant constructed an additional dwelling unit and modified the units within the two buildings. Final site details are being completed and it is expected that a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued shortly. 

13) May 2022 Status: 42-44 Bridge Street. The most recent use of this 2-story building was as a bank. Recently the  Planning Board approved the new use for 14 market-rate apartments, along with some commercial uses on the ground floor, street side.

UPDATE: Construction is expected to begin within the next few months. Construction has been completed and a Certificate of Occupancy was just issued. 

14) May 2022 Status: Chestnut & Pine Streets. Two sites, the City’s former police station and a small parking lot across the street, have been purchased by a California company specializing in affordable housing units. They have cleared the first hurdle (the ZBA), and are expected to be in front of the Planning  Board in two months. If approved and completed, 150 new affordable units will be added to the housing stock of Manchester.

UPDATE: These two new buildings were conditionally approved by the  Planning Board on July 21, 2022. Final plans have not yet been submitted for signature. 

15) May 2022 Status: 315 Kimball Street. The Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority recently received approval to construct 48 new units of affordable housing on the West Side of Manchester.

UPDATE: A  building permit was issued at the end of July and construction is underway. 

16) May 2022 Status: 1824 Front Street. Recently one of Manchester’s most successful builders of townhouses for rent received Planning Board approval for another 60 units on the West Side of Manchester. This developer has constructed over 300 similar townhouse units in Manchester over the past few years.  It is expected that construction will begin before the end of the year.

UPDATE: Final plans have been signed but the developer has not yet applied for building permits.  

17) May 2022 Status: Old Wellington Road. Three different parcels of land, owned by two different developers,  will have a total of 33 townhouse units on these small parcels. Some have recently been finished and the rest are under construction. Some of the units will be rented – others will be for sale.

UPDATE: The largest parcel, at 534 Old Wellington Road, was approved for 20 townhouse units. Those units have all been completed, received Certificates of Occupancy, and are all now rented. Another parcel, at 603 Old Wellington Road with 8 townhouse units, has been built out, has Certificates of Occupancy,  and are mostly sold. The third parcel in this area, on the corner of Old Wellington Road and Karatzas Avenue, has received building permits and is under construction. When finished, there will be 5 townhouse units for sale or rent. 

18) May 2022 Status: Coolidge Avenue. Currently under construction are 9 units of single-family homes, created as a  planned development, on the West Side of Manchester. Those units should be ready for sale later this year.

UPDATE: While several of these 9 units have received building permits and are under construction,  none of them are finished or ready for occupancy. 

19) May 2022 Status: Single-Family Subdivisions. While the construction activity for apartments has been very strong over the past few years, the number of newly created, single-family house lots has been slower.  Much of that is due, in part, to the limited land currently available for development. There is a new subdivision, which would extend the public street known as Arthur Avenue, currently under construction. When completed, 18 new SF homes will be available for sale. As with the current housing stock, and with the proposed new construction, most of these houses are selling in the  $450,000 to $550,000 price range, with some above that range.

UPDATE: The Arthur Avenue subdivision is well underway. At least 6 of the proposed 18 homes have been sold, with an average selling price of $650,000. In addition to this development, there have been approximately 20 new “infill lots”  created by subdividing land off of existing homes to create new SF building lots. Four new lots on  Straw Road were created and received building permits for the SF homes in April of 2022. To date,  none of those homes have received Certificates of Occupancy. 


About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!