Mayor Craig seeks BMA recommendation to transform downtown parking lots to mixed-use developments

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City-owned Hartnett Parking Lot.

MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Thursday, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig announced she will be submitting two requests for proposals (RFPs) to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) to transform the Pearl Street and Hartnett Street parking lots into mixed-use, mixed-income housing developments.

Currently, the lots are used as permit and public parking lots for the downtown area. The Harnett Lot is located just north of Victory Park near the public library and the Pearl Street Lot is a block north of Bridge Street and a block east of Elm Street.

“Like many communities across the United States, Manchester is experiencing a major housing shortage. As a result, housing costs are spiking across the market, leaving a growing share of the population unable to afford to rent or own a home,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “Manchester has been named the hottest real estate market in the country for the second year in a row, and in order to keep up with demand, there is a desperate need for not only more affordable housing, but more housing in general.”

City-owned Pearl Street parking lot.

Both RFPs (attached below) require that some units in each proposal remain affordable as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with the number of affordable units provided acting as the most significant factor in the evaluation criteria.

Additionally, the submitted proposals cannot result in a reduction in public parking spaces and must integrate with the community architecturally as well as in terms of pedestrian traffic.

The two RFPs meet several criteria touched upon in the Mayor’s Affordable Housing Taskforce Report recommendations.

The BMA Committee on Lands and Buildings will discuss whether or not to recommend the RFPs at their next scheduled meeting on May 18.

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.