NeighborWorks eyes 65 units of housing for Merrimack
By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON Union Leader Correspondent
MERRIMACK — NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire is in preliminary discussions with town officials to possibly construct 65 housing units along the Daniel Webster Highway.
The agency was scheduled to meet with the planning board last week to present conceptual plans, but decided to continue the meeting until Dec. 5.
NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire has transformed neighborhoods by building about 500 housing units throughout the area.
Now, the organization is hoping to construct several townhouse-style buildings with four or five units each for a total of 65 units in Merrimack, according to plans on file at the town hall.
The property is an 8-acre plot of vacant land at 315 Daniel Webster Highway.
“While no narrative was submitted as part of the submittal, staff did meet with representatives of NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire and Meridian Land Services back in September about the property and its history,” Tim Thompson, community development director, wrote in a memo to the Planning Board. “As staff understands it, the concept NeighborWorks wishes to discuss with the board is the redesign of the project from an elderly housing proposal to a conventional, non-age restricted multi-family project comprised of 65 units.”
Previously, town planners approved a separate project in 2007 and again in 2013 to construct 57 units of elderly housing on the property, but those plans have not yet come to fruition.
The property is currently owned by the Granite YMCA of Manchester; the late Reverend Wright was the original owner of the parcel.
“As staff understands it, the YMCA is now looking at other potential developers of the property,” wrote Thompson.
According to him, variances would be necessary from the Zoning Board to permit conventional multi-family housing to be constructed on the parcel at the density proposed.
Robert Tourigny, executive director of NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire, was not available to comment on the conceptual plans on Wednesday.
The planning board has rescheduled the organization’s conceptual proposal presentation until Dec. 5.
Robert Best, chairman of the board, said last week that there is significant public interest in the project, warning about continuances of items that are placed on the agenda.