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Developer moving ahead with Elm Street liquor store in Manchester

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 18. 2013 9:38PM
A rendering of the proposed state liquor store on Elm Street in Manchester. 

MANCHESTER - Developer Dick Anagnost is moving forward with plans to construct a massive New Hampshire liquor store on the southern portion of Elm Street.

Anagnost said he received a good reception last week when he brought plans before the Manchester Planning Board. Groundbreaking for the 12,000-square-foot store could take place in April and it could be open around Thanksgiving, he said.

He also said Elliot Hospital no longer has a stake in the lot and the building, the old Theodore Banana building at the corner of Elm Street and upper Brown Avenue, near Chalifour's Flowers.

"It's not part of (Elliot at) River's Edge, it's not contiguous to it, it's not part of it, it doesn't even have the same ownership," Anagnost said.

When news about the liquor store site first broke in late November, Elliot Hospital President Doug Dean said he wasn't aware that Anagnost had leased the property, which at the time Anagnost and Elliot Hospital jointly owned.

The divorce in ownership frees Elliot Hospital from the possibility that it would be a landlord to a liquor store located about a half-mile from its showcase outpatient center, Elliot at River's Edge, and an adjacent drug-and-alcohol residential treatment facility currently under construction.

Elliot Hospital spokesman Susanna Whitcher said Anagnost and Elliot have dissolved the partnership on 6.7 acres of land they owned in the area. They split the land; Anagnost owns 1.4 acres and Elliot owns 5.3 acres.

"My understanding is that the parcel of land Dick (Anagnost) owns is the land relating to a liquor store," Whitcher wrote in an email. "It is not River's Edge property and is not contiguous to River's Edge property."

She said Anagnost and the Elliot remain on good terms.

Anagnost said he has a 15-year lease with the state Liquor Commission.

The liquor store would be bigger than the Hooksett location on Interstate 93, but smaller than the 20,000-square-foot store the Liquor Commission opened in Nashua. Its size and location means restaurants will be able to fill orders easily, Anagnost said.

Plans call for the demolition of the existing building.

The design includes gables and clapboard siding to render a New England feel to the building, Anagnost said. The parking lot will accommodate 53 cars.

"Basically, they took the Nashua prototype and shrunk it," Anagnost said. "They didn't want a 20,000 square-foot store in Manchester. It didn't' warrant it."

Anagnost said the planning board identified six issues that they want him to address for the project to move forward, including snow storage, sign design and proper screening of the building.

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