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Downtown

Downtown: Concord officials comfortable with minimal safety net on Main Street project

Monday, January 26, 2015

Better safe than sorry, right? Maybe not, in the case of the Main Street project. As Concord prepares to break ground on the downtown redesign this spring, the city has already dipped into its contingency fund to buy $200,000 worth of signs. That leaves the city with about $94,000 for unforeseen costs during construction – less than 1 percent of the $10.69 million project budget. “A project like this is most comfortable with a contingency of 3 to 5 percent,” City Engineer Ed Roberge said. While the safety net for the Main Street project is less than the city’s norm, Roberge defended the dwindling fund. During an alternative bidding process last spring, Roberge said negotiations …

Downtown: Boston Olympics bid could put passenger rail ‘on a faster track’

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Boston is a near-straight shot south from Concord, just 70 miles on Interstate 93. Those 70 miles could be the distance between Concord and the epicenter of the Summer Olympics in less than 10 years. Earlier this month, the United States Olympic Committee tapped Boston as its pick for a 2024 bid, and New Hampshire’s neighbor is now on the short list to …

Downtown: Granite State Symphony Orchestra hopes hiatus is intermission, not finale

Monday, January 12, 2015

In April, the Granite State Symphony Orchestra was planning a 20th season to begin in November. They had cut their longtime conductor, looking for a new sound and a younger audience. But two months later, minutes from the June board meeting show the nonprofit was $8,500 in the hole and still expecting bills from a holiday concert. And when the group mailed information …

Downtown: After record year, Intown Concord hopes to boost ‘local currency’

Monday, January 5, 2015

A lone $25 Downtown Dollars certificate sat next to Gerry Mark’s desk at Caring Gifts. “We don’t get a lot (of Downtown Dollars). . . . I bet we don’t get more than a dozen a year,” Mark said, examining the paper certificate. But Mark was still positive …

Downtown: All aboard for a 30-day U.S. train tour

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mike Cashion planned to spend all 24 hours of Christmas Day on an Amtrak train. The owner of Villari’s Martial Arts on North State Street took 30 days off work in December and January, part of a goal …

Downtown: Soup Gallery closes its doors, but not its kitchen

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Soup Gallery has closed its eatery in downtown Concord, but its chef plans to continue catering and selling soups at other area restaurants. Owner Natalia Strong said the cafe has been successful – but when the time …

Downtown: Focus of Concord’s Main Street project turns to signage

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The construction crews won’t arrive on Main Street until spring, but that doesn’t mean City Engineer Ed Roberge is bored. This winter, the Concord City Council and the public will weigh in on potential way-finding signage and lighting for the new downtown corridor. “This is kind of the …

Downtown: The perplexing case of ‘Sleepygate’ Mall

Monday, December 1, 2014

When Matt Townsend came up to New Hampshire from New York for a long weekend, he skipped the White Mountains, the State House and the Seacoast. Instead, he spent four days at Steeplegate Mall on Loudon Road in …

Downtown: Owner outlines plans for renovation at former Vegas Block, applies for tax break

Sunday, November 16, 2014

To new owner Remi Hinxhia, the building at the corner of Centre Street and Loudon Road is no longer the notorious Vegas Block. “Now it’s called ‘Remi’s Block,’ ” Hinxhia said, correcting me. But he has more than …

Downtown: Concord City Council could help out homeowners with impact fee change

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thinking about an addition on your house? How about that new deck? The Concord City Council could make that construction project easier for you. Concord currently charges an impact fee on construction and new development in the city to help pay for later expansion of infrastructure. The fee …

Downtown: Church hopes to take it to the Next Level in Concord

Monday, November 3, 2014

At first glance, the red-and-white placards popping up around downtown Concord could be just another rash of campaign signs. But on a second look, they don’t advertise a candidate for election or a political party. The signs instead announce Next Level Church, a nondenominational faith group aiming to …

Downtown: New opera company takes the stage at the Concord City Auditorium

Monday, October 27, 2014

There’s the Paris Opera, and the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. A little closer to home, find the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. Can’t forget the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Just across the border to Massachusetts, we’ve got the Boston Opera House. And now …

Downtown: A new Place to get creative opens on Main Street

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Six weeks ago, Christa Zuber up and quit her job. “I literally walked into my supervisor’s office and said, ‘I have no idea if it’s going to work,’ ” Zuber said. She’s about to find out. This weekend, Zuber opened her downtown do-it-yourself studio and shop – The …

Downtown: Main Street construction starts in Eagle Square

Monday, October 13, 2014

From her side of the large window at Salon Envy, owner Paula Blais has a clear view of passers-by tripping over broken bricks in Eagle Square. And for as many times as she’s been a witness, she’s tripped over those same bricks herself. So when contractor Severino Trucking …

Downtown: Parking, parking and more parking

Monday, October 6, 2014

That parking ticket you got last week. Your parking permit (or lack thereof). The parking garages. The hours you pay to park, and the hours you don’t. All are fair game at tonight’s open house for public input on Concord’s parking system. The city is asking residents to …