Developer proposes housing project in Hackett Hiil section eyed for technology park
Developer Richard Danais is proposing to modify the Research Park Zoning District in the Hackett Hill section of the city, where he owns 12 parcels of land designated the Northwest Business Park.
The area was zoned more than a decade ago to be the site of a technology and research cluster. Those plans did not materialize, and four years ago the city entered talks with Danais, who was to buy the land to develop the industrial park along with a new fire station.
Those plans faltered, too, and the city ended up bonding and building the fire station on its own. On Tuesday, the aldermen’s Bills on Second Reading Committee considered — and narrowly rejected — a proposal drawn up by Danais’ attorney, Jason Craven, to change the zoning to allow for residential housing for those 55 and older.
In a letter to the aldermen, Craven wrote: “Through the extensive marketing efforts of the owners, it has become evident that there is a significant market in Manchester for housing for the elderly and those over the age of 55, as well as assisted-living facilities.”
“Mr. Danais did good things out in east Manchester, but he signed the deal. At one point, we talked about the site for a prison. I don’t want to fall into that. We need to be talking about jobs, jobs, jobs.”
The matter will still be addressed by the full board, when its votes whether to back the committee’s recommendation.
“In my eyes, senior housing is not a bad situation for Manchester,” he said. “It wouldn’t impact us in a negative way. And we’re aging; the baby boomers are coming up.”
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