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December 25. 2012 9:51PM

Newmarket Mills earns mixed used redevelopment honors


The Newmarket Mills mixed-use development was recently named "Best Historic Redevelopment" project by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. (COURTESY)

NEWMARKET - The Newmarket Mills mixed-use development was recently named "Best Historic Redevelopment" project by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

The redevelopment project was one of five urban design projects recognized at the "Strong Homes, Resilient Communities" conference held Dec. 12.

The "Visualizing Density in New Hampshire" awards program was sponsored by the Housing Finance Authority and the nonprofit group Plan NH to encourage good planning and design and recognize projects involving high density residential mixed-use developments.

The former textile and shoe manufacturing mills sit along the Lamprey River and were purchased by Newmarket Mills LLC through mill developer Eric Chinburg.

Jen Chinburg, marketing director for Chinburg Properties, said the Newmarket Mills development was an enormous undertaking given the condition of the buildings, which have now been restored and have 112 apartments with more than 20 operating small businesses.

"The renovation has brought renewed vitality to the historic downtown.

"We are especially proud of how many needs can be met within a few minutes walk, including restaurant, ice cream, hair salon and barber, shopping, chiropractor and yoga studio," she said. "Newmarket is a wonderful place to live, work and play."

The Newmarket Mills project involved a public and private partnership between the town, the Newmarket Community Development Corp., Newmarket Mills LLC, and Chinburg Properties.

The planning board adopted new incentive zoning that allowed housing units at a higher density in return for certain public amenities, public space in the mills, mill courtyard, waterfront park and historic preservation of the building. ?While considering projects for the awards, the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority and Plan NH looked at the ratio of units per acre, design elements, the availability of infrastructure, the regulatory environment, walkability and proximity to services when considering projects for the awards.

The Newmarket Mills project will now be included in the Housing Finance Authority's "Visualizing Density" database, which is a free online resource for municipalities and developers.

Other projects honored were The Portwalk in Portsmouth, which earned the title of "Best Urban Design;" "Best Adaptive Re-use Project" was awarded to the Grange Hall in Durham; "Best Urban-Suburban Design" went to South Concord; and Pettee Brook Lane in Durham was named "Best Infill Project."

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Jason Schreiber may be reached at jschreiber@newstote.com.



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