October 04. 2017 10:10PM

Elm Grove to buy, renovate buildings in Manchester, Concord for new apartments

New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER — Elm Grove Companies is spending roughly $10 million to buy and renovate the former Ted Herbert’s Music Mart building in downtown Manchester and four buildings in Concord.

Plans call for creating more than 70 apartments.

Concord’s upgrading of Main Street completed last year was a “huge factor” in buying four properties and a nearby parking lot there, according to Matt Menning, partner and director of operations at Manchester-based Elm Grove Companies.

Renovations should be completed by the summer of 2018.

The company bought 922 Elm St., the former home of Ted Herbert’s, for $1.45 million. Plans call for a street-level restaurant as well as 30 one-bedroom apartments on the second through fourth floors. Rents will run for $1,300 to $1,400 a month.

Menning said it’s a chance to bring life to the only “lifeless building in the heart of downtown.”

Elm Grove owns and manages about 1,200 apartments in New Hampshire.

“Knowing Elm Grove, they’ll move forward very quickly and gets tenants and fit it up,” Mayor Ted Gatsas said.

Scott Forrester, who planned to open up a Southern-themed restaurant and bar called Dixie Blues there, said this week he was aware of the building sale.

“I’m ecstatic that it’s in new hands,” Forrester said. He said he hopes to discuss his possible involvement in the next week or two.

Menning said Forrester has signed an agreement to run a restaurant in the building, which is near City Hall.

“The other boon to the downtown is the ARMI project that Dean Kamen secured and all the new jobs and housing that will be required,” Menning said.

The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute ramping up in the Millyard is hoping research will lead to producing body parts to help sick people. ARMI has about $294 million in government and private investment committed.

Menning said Pearson’s Jewelry in the Ted Herbert’s building might need to relocate temporarily during construction. Store co-owner David Fineblit didn’t return a phone message Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Menning said his company probably wouldn’t have purchased the Concord properties if Concord hadn’t spent more than $13 million in federal, city and special taxing district money to upgrade the city’s Main Street, including widening sidewalks, reducing the number of lanes of traffic and adding benches to attract more visitors and shoppers downtown. Work was completed late last year.

“We feel comfortable going into a relationship with the city (of Concord) when we know they’re encouraging economic development and prosperity for downtown, so it was a huge factor for us,” Menning said.

In Concord, Elm Grove bought 15-17 Pleasant St., 19 Pleasant St. and 5-7 South State St., all in the same block, as well as 26 Pleasant St. and a parking lot at 9 South State St. for nearly $2.4 million.

Plans call for renovating 5-7 South St. for 28 apartments in a mix of sizes. About a half-dozen commercial tenants are being asked to move to 26 Pleasant St.

The building at 26 Pleasant St., now a third-occupied, will be remodeled.

The building at 15-17 State St., which includes White Mountain Gourmet Coffee among its first-floor tenants, will see its second floor redeveloped with 12 to 13 miniflats, each about 300 to 400 square feet large, established there.

Mini-flats will run around $1,000 per month with large units running between $1,600 and $1,800. Current second-floor commercial tenants will be asked to move to 26 Pleasant St.

The building at 19 Pleasant St. will get a minor remodel on the second floor to create one loft apartment.

Bangor Savings Bank and the Concord Regional Development Council provided financing.