Massachusetts company to break ground on 280 Merrimack apartmentsBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
August 31. 2018 11:25PM
MERRIMACK — The construction of 280 apartments is expected to begin later this year at the site of the former Merrimack Hotel and Conference Center.
This week, private investor Robert Singer sold the large parcel on Executive Park Drive to SMC Management Corp. of Watertown, Mass., for an undisclosed price.
The real estate development company hopes to break ground on the project as soon as possible, building 280 apartments that consist of studio, one- and two-bedroom units next to the WoodSpring Suites Hotel near Cinemagic.
“This is going to be spectacular for Merrimack,” said Singer, president of Merchants Auto.
Singer acquired the former Merrimack Hotel and Conference Center for about $1.26 million in 2015, including its 18-acre site. The old hotel, consisting of a 203-room facility off Exit 11, was an eyesore in the community for several years until it was torn down in 2016.
Singer’s sale of the property to SMC Management Corp. was dependent upon approvals from the Planning Board; the board granted conditional site approval earlier this year, and the official plans were signed about three weeks ago.
Singer said he closed on the property deal on Monday.
“That many rental units is a big project right on the turnpike with great access to Boston,” he said. “This has been a long process, but the construction is going to start relatively quickly.”
SMC Management has built several developments throughout New England, including the Residences at Riverfront Landing in Nashua with 162 apartments, the Residences at Sundial Center in Manchester with 88 apartments and the enVision Hotel Boston Everett in Everett, Mass., with 101 rooms.
“This site in Merrimack is a great location. It overlooks the highway,” said Stephen Chapman, president of SMC Management Corp. “I have been in love with that site since 2013. We are really excited to move this ball down the field.”
According to Chapman, there is a high demand for Class A, market-rate apartments in southern New Hampshire that are ideal for millenials entering the job market and empty-nesters hoping to downsize.
The Merrimack project will be similar to the Residences at Riverfront Landing in Nashua, and will include stainless steel appliances and amenities such as a fitness center and on-site management office.
“I think we could break ground sometime around Dec. 1,” Chapman said.
The 280 apartments will be spread out over five four-story buildings with parking underneath. Tim Thompson, community development director in Merrimack, said the Residences at Executive Park Drive will greatly improve the area, in part because of several traffic improvements being made as part of the project.