Saigon Asian Market deal in Manchester may be scuttled
A Zoning Board of Adjustment decision is threatening the sale of the Employment Security building on Hanover Street in Manchester. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Under state law, the city of Manchester also faces a Monday deadline on whether to match the roughly $1.5 million bid to buy the property. Mayor Ted Gatsas said he would love for the city to get the property for free as a donation from the state to use for a city school, perhaps for pre-schoolers.
“There’s a lot of moving pieces,” said Richard Lavers, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Employment Security.
The high bidder, Thanh Ho, said he is appealing the ZBA decision.
“The building is good, the location is good, the parking looks good,” Ho said Wednesday.
“There are no other people who carry the stuff we do,” said Ho, whose family operates a similar store in Nashua.
Last fall, the state put up for sale two Manchester buildings: the local unemployment office at 300 Hanover St. and the building next door, at 298 Hanover St., where the appeals unit works.
The state also put out a public appeal asking to lease 10,000 square feet of space to relocate the unemployment office. The request produced two offers, neither of which officials deemed suitable, he said.
Last January, the state received three offers for 300 Hanover St., selecting Ho and negotiating a purchase and sale agreement.
“The deal was contingent on getting the necessary relief to conduct an Asian food market on the property,” Lavers said.
The 300 Hanover St. building offers 22,000 square feet and 55 surface parking spots, but the department needs only 10,000 square feet. The adjacent building offers 8,000 square feet. A parking lot south of Hanover Street will be sold separately, Lavers said.
The other bidders were New Hampshire Catholic Charities at $1.25 million and the Gospel Baptist Church in Manchester at $750,000.
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