Goffstown housing project gets mixed reviews at public hearing
GOFFSTOWN — A proposed multi-family housing development got mixed reviews Thursday night.
The plan is to put up 99 units spread out among four buildings at the 15 Factory St. site, which will be called the Residences at Hadley Falls.
The majority of the units will be put in the former mill building — 50 units — while the other three buildings will have 6, 18 and 25 units respectively.
The site currently has some warehouse space and sheds that will be removed to make room for the new buildings.
Developers will rehab the mill building for the project to retain its historic nature and will also be keeping the chimney stack behind it. Town officials said that this inclusion was something they were glad to see, as plans for the site in the past by different developers had called for getting rid of that feature.
The Hadley Falls Dam will be repaired as well.
The proposal received mixed reviews from the public.
Some said they saw it as an economic boon for the community.
“I think it’s time for Goffstown to come into the 21st century,” said Charlie Tentas, who chairs the town’s Economic Development Council (EDC).
Tentas said the EDC has met with developers several times and that the group supports the proposal.
Others were wary of the project. One of the biggest concerns cited by critics was traffic in and out of the site, building heights and other impacts to the overall architectural character of the downtown.
“I would like to see something happen with that building, but I don’t feel this is the answer,” wrote resident Chris Pagliuca.
This isn’t the first time someone has tried to redevelop the Factory Street property. About two years ago, plans were presented to use the property for both residential and commercial uses, but the plans fell through after the viability of that type of plan was called into question.
On Thursday, the Planning Board approved several conditional uses, including allowing the site to be developed as purely residential, having building footprints bigger than what is allowed there and bringing the dam back online
The Zoning Board will consider variances, including building height, at its Sept. 5 meeting.
Developers will go before selectmen Monday to discuss their application to take advantage of a tax incentive program in town.
Roberto Rico, one of the two owners of Charter Development Co., LLC looking to purchase and develop the property, expects the entire project will cost about $15 million. About $3 million of that will be site improvements, he said.
Developers are looking to take advantage of the state’s 79-E tax incentive, meaning that although the owners will be taxed on the current assessed value of the building, they won’t be charged extra if the value increases with the upgrades for five years after the upgrades are made.