Londonderry senior housing

Developer Steve Lewis said the first of two 51-unit age- and rent-controlled apartment buildings at 30 Sanborn Road in Londonderry will be ready for occupancy in December.

LONDONDERRY — As subsidized senior housing development Sanborn Crossing nears completion in Londonderry, developers are beginning to advertise the rent-controlled units.

Developer Steve Lewis said the $21.5 million project already has 30 names on its waiting list for the first 51-unit building, which is due to be completed and ready for occupancy by mid-December.

The second 50-unit building further east at 30 Sanborn Road will be complete in January, but Lewis said they plan on filling the west building before advertising units in the second one.

“This is a somewhat larger project than we sometimes see, but that’s really important for this kind of market,” said Dean Christon, executive director of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

Christon said demand for affordable senior housing is very high in the region, and this is the first project of its kind for Londonderry.

It’s also unique for having its origins owed to the town itself approaching the developer to create the housing at a former brownfield. The town sold the 12.5-acre parcel to Lewis for $10.

Since then, Lewis said the property was already assessed at over $400,000 when the buildings were just slabs.

Lewis said soil contamination and solid waste at the site was cleaned up and all that remains are safe levels of naturally occurring arsenic and manganese.

Crews worked Friday on interior drywalling and outside building siding. Lewis said all of the utilities have been installed in the first building. The buildings will be served by municipal water and sewer and connected to natural gas lines.

Each building will have a master meter and solar panels to reduce energy costs and all utilities except for internet, phone and cable will be included in the rents.

In the coming months, crews will finish the project with landscaping that will include replanted white pines and oaks, and an ADA-compliant paved walkway that connects to the nearby rail trail.

Half of the units will be one-bedroom units, and the other half will be two-bedrooms. All bathrooms will be handicap accessible. Each floor will have laundry facilities with a communal seating area just outside the laundry rooms, and a communal kitchen, library and living room in the main floor of each building for the residents to socialize.

There will also be a four-season sunroom and connected outdoor patio attached to each building.

“We try to make this like a high-end hotel,” Lewis said.

Christon said the communal room features help to improve the quality of life for the residents, and the units will all be adaptable to the needs of the residents as they age in place.

He said projects like these are not only good for low-income seniors, but for the state’s housing economy in general, because as seniors vacate their former homes in favor of the new apartments, those houses add to a very narrow inventory.

Lewis said he believed all the individuals on their waiting list so far are coming from single-family homes.

So far, the project has been on schedule and on budget, Lewis said. The only unexpected expense was over $100,000 to deal with a natural gas line and sewer line redesign at the roadway.

Residents must be age 62 or older. Rents will be offered in three tiers. The lowest tier will offer one-bedroom units for $998 per month, and two-bedroom units at $1,198. For residents with incomes at 50 percent of median income, a one-bedroom goes for $1,026 and a two-bedroom goes for $1,232. For residents at 60 percent of median income, a one-bedroom is $1,232 and a two-bedroom is $1,479.

The project was partially financed by a $13 million government bond.

Anyone interested in applying for an apartment unit can contact the owners at (603) 362-6565.