Developer has plan for five parcels off Manchester's Elm StreetBy TED SIEFER
New Hampshire Union Leader
June 11. 2013 10:21PM
MANCHESTER — A developer wants to build a project downtown spanning several parcels off Elm Street opposite the Market Basket supermarket.
Oak Leaf Homes, LLC is seeking road discontinuances of several small street sections that divide the parcels, which are at 387, 379 and 409 Elm St. and 584 and 624 Willow St.
Among the businesses that currently occupy buildings on the properties are the Cedar and Oak furniture showroom and Spider Bite, a tattoo parlor, salon and smoke shop.
Ronald Dupont, the president of Oak Leaf, had originally sought discontinuances for Elm Street Back, an alley-like road between Elm and Willow Streets, from Grove Street to Summer Street, which also now functions as an alleyway.
An abutting property owner has objected to the discontinuance of Elm Street Back south of Green Street, another historic road that now functions as an alleyway. On Tuesday, Dupont agreed to request only the northern section of Elm Street Back be discontinued, along with Summer Street.
The aldermen on Tuesday visited the site as part of its review of the petition.
They voted to table the matter until they can gather more information and abutters can have their say.
Prior to the site visit, Mayor Ted Gatsas raised concerns that if the discontinuances were not approved, it "could be two years" before another road hearing is held.
The director of the Public Works Department has backed discontinuing the roads.
Dupont has not outlined the scale of the project or whether it would be retail, residential or commercial, or a mix of uses.
He said the road closures would be a preliminary step before he moved forward with the project.
"In order to start architectural plans, I need a footprint for the building," he said at the site Tuesday.
Records show Red Oak purchased the five properties in 2005.
Also on Tuesday, the aldermen approved a petition to discontinue a network of "paper streets" off Wellington Hill Road for an 85-home subdivision in the northeast part of the city.
The vote clears the way for Sterling Realty to move forward on the project and potentially finalize deals for the land with its current owners, the city, the Diocese of Manchester and a small group of individuals.
The land is now heavily wooded, but in 1902, a grid of 11 streets was approved and recorded on official deed maps for a development called "Mammoth Park."
Tuesday's vote took place on a shuttle bus that took the aldermen to the two sites.
Aldermen Dan O'Neil, Garth Corriveau, Ron Ludwig and Ed Osborne, who have objected to the project in the past, voted against the discontinuances.
Alderman-At-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur joked after the vote that the streets in the future development had to be named after the aldermen on the bus.