MANCHESTER — City planners held a public hearing Thursday on a proposal to build an estimated $15 million medical office building geared toward the elderly on a vacant lot at Edward J. Roy Drive.
They also tabled, without discussion, St. Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church's plan to build a bell tower within which they would install an elevator and, at the top, install the bell that came from the now-closed St. Anne's Church.
In a nod to neighbors who complained about existing parking problems at the 207 Hemlock St. church at last month's public hearing, the Planning Board held off action until they assessed residents' concerns and heard the planning staff's recommendation.
Local developers Dick Anagnost and Alexander Vailas propose to build a 68,374-square-foot medical office building with an accompanying 2,000-square-foot restaurant .
Anagnost told city planners Thursday he so far has agreements with four medical practices that will occupy a total 50,000 square feet and is in negotiations with others interested in occupying the remaining space.
To date, urology, optometrist, general medicine and physical therapy practices agreed to occupy the building, Anagnost said. All are independent practitioners who would own their respective portions of the building, Anagnost explained.
The two-story medical building would include a 2,000-square-foot restaurant modeled after the Extra Touch Gourmet that is included within the New Hampshire Neurospine Institute in Bedford.
The doctors' office requires some sort of food service on site that would be open to patients and the public, developers said. The 48-seat restaurant would not have a drive-through window. Anagnost said he currently does not have a tenant for the restaurant.
The 7.4 acre site near the intersection of Wellington Road has long been vacant and is owned by Shop 'N Save of Massachusetts. Anagnost said the project would have 348 parking spaces.
Anagnost told city planners the site has considerable ledge and would require blasting.
Several residents of Stone Terrace Condominiums, located nearby at 245-265 Edward J. Roy Drive, expressed concerns about the impact blasting would have on their homes.
Concord attorney Tolbert Kilchenstein, who represents the condominium owners, said the Stone Terrace Condominium Association had only two weeks to hire an engineer who has yet to review the proposal.
Kilchenstein said the condominium association is concerned about the impact blasting would have on the stability of their foundations and retaining wall. Some residents worried about the loss of the trees and other wooded buffers between their property and the new site.
Planners asked Anagnost to meet with the condominium association's engineer to review the concerns raised by the association. Planners will take up the proposal again at a later meeting.
In other matters, the Planning Board granted a conditional use permit to allow a trade school operated in an industrial zoning district at 7 Perimeter Road. The 11,535-square-foot school will be known as the New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades.
Planners also approved a 13-lot single-family residential subdivision on 6.67 acres owned by the Sisters of the Holy Cross at 377 Island Pond Road. The project previously had been approved as a 15-unit planned development in 2009. The Sisters of the Holy Cross decided a subdivision with individual lots would be more marketable in the current economy.
City planners said they expect to bring up St. Catherine of Siena Church's plan at next month's meeting.
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Kathryn Marchocki may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.