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June 18. 2013 6:21PM

Nashua apartment complex ready for next phase

NASHUA — City planners on Thursday will be presented with a proposal that could bring 384 new apartment units into the city's south end.

Representatives from the John J. Flatley Company will be presenting plans for the second phase of the Tara Heights apartment complex to the Nashua City Planning Board, hoping to receive final approval for the massive project.

"We are proposing eight buildings with a clubhouse, which will complement phase one," said Richard Cane, planning director for the John J. Flatley Co.

The eight four-story, multi-family residential buildings will house 384 units of one- and two-bedroom apartment homes, Cane said.

An additional 180 apartments were previously built as part of the first phase of the Gateway Hills community within the Nashua Technology Park, which provides a uniquely integrated residential and commercial complex off Exit 1 of the F.E. Everett Turnpike.

"The first two buildings are already occupied," Cane said. "The first phase has gone extremely well in leasing, and we are optimistic that the second phase will also."

Cane is hopeful city planners will accept the application for the project and that construction could begin on the apartment units this fall.

"Market conditions will determine when those buildings are actually completed and occupied," he said.

Matthew Taylor, deputy planning manager for the city, said previously that Tara Heights will create a space where people can live and work in the same location.

The additional upscale apartments will be incredibly beneficial to the city and its young professionals looking to rent rather than buy, specifically because of its focus as an integrated residential community, Taylor said earlier.

The Flatley Company has assembled a number of parcels over the years, which now amount to about 400 acres of contiguous land, according to a staff report on file with the Nashua City Planning Department.

City planners initially approved the first phase of Tara Heights in 2012, although Tara Commons was approved in 2011. The site is more than 20 acres, however development is only expected to impact about six acres.

In conjunction with the apartments, a large retail village referred to as Tara Commons has been built at the entrance to Gateway Hills on Spit Brook Road. Flatley owns more than 1 million square feet of research and development space within the Nashua Technology Park.

The newly proposed apartment units will be built on Digital Drive, which is located to the rear of the former Hewlett-Packard building at the site, according to Cane.

This past April, city planners approved the construction of a new retail building at Gateway Hills and the expansion of a roadway at the industrial park to allow for the second phase of development.

The multi-million-dollar housing development, once complete, will feature upscale apartments with amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, clubhouse, playground, recycling center, garages, maintenance building, new access drive, emergency access road, 300 parking spaces and recreational area.

Cane said in April that at least one additional project, which includes a large building to house an undisclosed research and development company, may also be presented to city planners in the near future.

The planning board meeting to discuss the proposed 384 apartment units will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Nashua City Hall.khoughton@newstote.com

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