October 17 – Members of the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment filed a waiver request with a developer seeking to build a 305-unit apartment complex on an undeveloped 38-acre plot in the northern part of the neighborhood of Wellington Hill, in the northeast corner of Manchester. .
The plans, filed by developer Torrington Properties, call for three buildings on the site, located north of Radburn Street and north and east of Fox Hollow Way.
The buildings would contain 305 one- and two-bedroom apartments with amenities such as a swimming pool, pavilion, walking and biking trails. The plan includes 615 parking spaces.
“The project is designed in response to the need for more housing in New Hampshire and is consistent with the goals of living, working and playing in urban centers,” said documents filed with city hall.
The plot consists of three properties owned separately by the city, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester and the Kirk Group.
The matter was postponed until the next council meeting on November 10.
Several residents spoke out against the proposal last week, citing traffic problems and the impact the development could have on surrounding communities.
I’m against it because I think it’s out of or above the zoning board’s hands, ”said Brian Fitzpatrick of Smyth Road. I think it’s more regional development, because the folks in Hooksett spoke out against the last time they had a meeting on this area the town of Hooksett was made aware it wasn’t. this time. In my opinion, this is too big for the zoning board to handle. It’s basically regional development and should go to the planning board and not just the zoning board. “
The project has received support from the Manchester Housing Alliance and Ward 2 Alderman Will Stewart, who represents Wellington Hill. During the summer, the city councilors fixed as a condition of sale of his property a stipulation that a second entry and exit of the district be part of any site plan.
At this time, the only way to access the plot is via Edward J. Roy Drive.
Last month, Stewart said he hoped the development would help address the city’s “historically low rental vacancy rates”, while not exacerbating the safety and traffic problems facing the Wellington Hill neighborhood. is confronted.
Jay Bosignano, CEO and Director of Torrington Properties, thanked Zoning Board members late last week for their “thoughtful review,” saying his company looks forward to returning next month.
“We appreciate the issues that have been raised,” Bosignano said. As noted by the Zoning Board, the issue of potential traffic on Smyth Road would be better dealt with by the Planning Board. It should also be noted that the city has asked us to connect Radburn Street to Smyth Road for a number for good reasons. We are convinced that our project can successfully solve traffic problems through the authorization process. “
Bosignano went on to say that Zoning Board members acknowledged his company’s claim that a single-family home development on the site would not be feasible due to efforts to build roads and utilities to provide a facade suitable for each single-family home.
“We think the multi-family is best suited for this property,” said Bosignano. “Our team of professionals have worked hard over the past 6 months to come up with a plan that limits sprawl, preserves important buffers around the project perimeter, and will create a unique environment for this very unique piece of land. the ecological footprint will ensure that there will be much less impact on existing wetlands and buffer zones than what a single-family home development would create. In addition to meeting a need for more housing, our project would be consistent with other multi-family developments that currently exist in the neighborhood. “
The developer is looking for three zoning variations for the project – to allow multi-family residences in zone R-1A, allow three or four story buildings where 2 1/2 stories are allowed, and allow a building height of 56.6 feet where 35 feet are allowed.
According to the dossier, while the buildings will have more storeys and will be taller than what is currently authorized, “the development will be remote from the surrounding properties and well protected by a forest cover”, allowing a more compact development “compatible with the feel of the area. “
The proposal calls for buildings to have varying heights to modify the roof line and “add character”. Front-facing buildings would have three stories and rear-facing structures would have four stories.
Torrington Properties – which has an office in Durham – has several projects underway in New Hampshire.
The company is currently building a mixed-use development called West End Yards in Portsmouth.
The first phase is complete and almost 100% leased, and the company is building the next residential phase as well as commercial premises.
Last year they completed the Veridian Apartments in Portsmouth, which are fully let.
Currently, they are proposing to redevelop the closed Cinemagic cinema in Portsmouth into around 100 condominium units – 20% of which are workforce housing. They also recently purchased the Newington Park shopping center.
“Torrington Properties is a premier developer who strives for win / win development with a transparent and collaborative approach,” said Atty. John Cronin, who represents Torrington.