×

Canadian developed buys 166 acres of Allenstown land

  • The entrance to Holiday Acres is seen in Allenstown on Tuesday. A Canadian-based developer is planning to expand the mobile home community by another 210 units after purchasing 166 acres from the town. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Homes at the Hynes Group Rochester N.H. development Tara Estates. The units built in the planned Allenstown Holiday Acres expansion will use the same models. Hynes Group—Courtesy

  • Homes at the Hynes Group Rochester N.H. development Tara Estates. The units built in the planned Allenstown Holiday Acres expansion will use the same models. Hynes Group—Courtesy

  • Homes at the Hynes Group Rochester N.H. development Tara Estates. The units built in the planned Allenstown Holiday Acres expansion will use the same models. Hynes Group—Courtesy

  • Homes at the Hynes Group Rochester N.H. development Tara Estates. The units built in the planned Allenstown Holiday Acres expansion will use the same models. Hynes Group/Courtesy



Monitor staff
Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Allenstown officials have approved the sale of 166 acres of town-owned land to a Canada-based mobile and manufactured home developer with properties across the United States, including Allenstown.

The select board okayed the $302,000 sale by a 2-1 vote on Monday night, with selectman Jeff Gryval voting against the measure and selectmen David Eaton and Jason Tardiff in favor.

The buyer, Stephen Hynes LLC, is part of the Hynes Group, which manages the roughly 300-unit mobile home park Holiday Acres in Allenstown along the Hooksett line. The developer is planning to expand the mobile home community by another 210 units, which will be age-restricted, using the new parcels.

The developer said the new units will be larger than the existing Holiday Acres homes, and will include amenities like garages. They’ll also be exclusively for tenants where at least one person in each unit is 55 and over.

At an estimated average valuation of $141,068, a third-party consulant projected that, once completed, the development would add about $29 million in property value to the tax rolls. Subtracting projected new expenses for the town, Russ Thibeault of Laconia-based Applied Economic Research estimated Allenstown could expect a net increase of about $500,000 in new tax revenues once all the homes are built. AER’s analysis also projected about $1 million in revenues from one-time sewer and water hookup fees.

“The major factor to take into the study was that it was age-restricted. And the impact of that is that it reduces the number of school-aged children dramatically,” Thibeault said. 

Thibeault wrote in his study that age-restricted communities send few, if any, students to local districts. He estimated that the expanded Holiday Acres would add, at most, 15 students to Allenstown schools. 

Another consultant double-checked AER’s findings for the town and found that, in anything, their findings could be underestimating revenues and overestimating costs.

“The estimated positive fiscal impact of $513,000 outlined on page 29 is, again, very conservative and we would expect actual positive revenues to the community to be higher than this finding,” Mark Fougere, of Fougere Planning & Development Inc., wrote in an analysis submitted to town officials.

But some residents, many of whom packed Monday’s meeting, have expressed anxieties that the development will burden the town’s services and contribute little in terms of revenue. And just how many students the development could add to district schools – which already eat up two-thirds of the town’s tax revenues – has been chief among the critics’ concerns.

“Our schools are currently struggling to financially meet the needs of the existing student population. They are not prepared to accommodate a large influx of additional students. School taxes will increase as a result,” Kathleen Pelissier, the town’s clerk and tax collector, wrote in a letter to certain residents, urging them to contact the select board before the vote.

Pelissier also wrote in her letter that mobile homes depreciate quickly in value, and she added in an interview that she worried many property owners in the planned age-restricted development might apply for exemptions on their taxes based on age and income. 

“I hope I’m wrong. But only time will tell,” she said.

As part of the sale, the Hynes Group has also agreed to upgrade that part of the Chester Turnpike classified as a Class 6 road to Class 5 status, and to install a sidewalk along the turnpike from Granite Street to the entrance of the new development.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)