Steve Duprey and Company C to negotiate with Concord for Employment Security site
Concord will negotiate with a team led by Steve Duprey to redevelop the state Employment Security headquarters on South Main Street.
The city council voted last night to enter a one-month negotiating period with Duprey’s team.
But Duprey’s proposal is not a done deal, the Concord developer said after last night’s council meeting. It hinges on Company C, a home decor design studio now based on Old Turnpike Road in Concord. Duprey said the company would relocate to a renovated Employment Security headquarters building on South Main Street and anchor the development.
Company C is also considering other options for its headquarters, Duprey said, and may pull out of the plans.
“We heard nothing from the city until very recently, but we had alerted them that Company C had a need to make a decision in a very constricted timeframe,” he said. “And we’ll do our best to see if we can pull this project together.”
Without Company C, Duprey’s project will not move forward. The company would offer the “critical mass” of commercial space required to obtain federal new market tax credits, Duprey said. The project could span an entire block of Main Street with apartments, other commercial space and potentially a new city library.
“Our goal is to make as large a project as we can feasibly put together,” Duprey said.
The four-person development team includes Duprey, his associate Jon Chorlian, Company C President Walter Chapin and Seacoast developer Eric Chinburg.
City Manager Tom Aspell said he will return to the city council next month with the result of the negotiations.
“Simply all you’re saying is you’ll work with this developer over the next month,” Aspell told the council last night. “You are not approving a project of any type. That’s what we’ll be negotiating over the next month.”
The city council had also considered a proposal from Vermont developer John Illick, who told the Monitor he wanted to build a hotel, restaurant and retail space on the city block.
The state Department of Employment Security will relocate its headquarters next year, and has allowed the city to select a developer to purchase the site.