UNH- Manchester looks to move into Pandora building
A potential snag for the deal is the city holds a right of first offer on the UNH property, meaning it is first in line to buy the building if it chooses. An aldermanic committee the week of July 21 is expected to discuss a request to waive that right to allow the sale to proceed.
“The good point of this deal is we get that very good mill back on the tax roll,” Gatsas said.
Downtown Alderman Pat Long, who heads the committee that will discuss the waiver issue, said the aldermen only learned of the proposal several days ago. Personally, he said, “I don’t believe the city should buy it and sit on it.”A Kamen spokesman at his company, DEKA Research & Development Corp. at 340 Commercial St., didn’t immediately respond to phone and e-mail inquiries Wednesday.
The lease will cost the university $1.6 million a year, including rent it already pays for space there. The university building carries an appraised value of $3.47 million, Hickey said.
The city lists its assessed value at $3.76 million.
He said the university has about 65,000 square feet of built-out space at 400 Commercial St. and another 30,000 square feet it now rents at Pandora on the first and second floors, for a total of 95,000 square feet.
“We need more welcoming spaces, so our students, who are largely commuter students ... have a comfortable place to study and wait for classes and have a bit to eat before their classes,” Hickey said.UNH at Manchester has the full-time equivalent of 800 students and expects to grow by 200 over the next four years, Hickey said.
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