L/snow
12°
L/snow
Hi 22° | Lo -3°
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: On Main Street project, PR firm hired by city waits for ‘the green light’

Monday, June 16, 2014

In January, city staff and the public relations team from Louis Karno & Co. discussed the roll out of the Main Street project weekly. Brett St. Clair, a partner at Louis Karno, was days away from installing webcams around Main Street for a video feed from construction. Another …

For sale: a fixer-upper on North Main Street

Monday, June 9, 2014

Early Friday afternoon, the Barley House lunch crowd lingers in the sun at outside tables. While shopping in Runner’s Alley, a woman laces up a new pair of shoes. A handful of customers wander through an open shop door to browse beads and jewelry. But if those customers …

At Siam Orchid, old practice and new ideas come together in the family business

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Scott Saktanaset was just 12 when his parents opened Siam Orchid on the corner of North Main and Centre streets in 1995. He did his homework at the same table in that restaurant every night, through high school in Concord and college at Northeastern University in Boston. He …

City officials mum on behind-the-scenes developments in Main Street project

Monday, May 12, 2014

Concord has narrowed its search for a general contractor on the Main Street project to one firm. And that’s about all city officials will say on the matter. That firm is still nameless. Negotiations are ongoing but top secret, so the scope and price of the project are …

Downtown: Pop-up rug shop moves into former Gibson’s on South Main Street

Monday, May 5, 2014

For more than 17 years, Fred Oxaal has sold rugs on the side of Loudon Road in Concord. He’s sold rugs from Maine to Vermont, Texas to Florida. He’s sold rugs out of tents and in parking lots. …

Official: Concord has a track record as a ‘developer of last resort’

Monday, April 21, 2014

If the city council decides to buy the New Hampshire Employment Security site on South Main Street, it won’t be the first time Concord writes a big check to protect future development. It’s just not usually the first …

Downtown: Concord officials hopeful for third attempt to bid Main Street project

Monday, April 7, 2014

Eight. That’s the number of general contractors who have expressed an interest in Concord's Main Street construction project so far, during the city’s third attempt to bid the job. “We are, I think, hopeful that it will be …

Downtown: Toys make way for tattoos in Concord

Monday, March 24, 2014

After almost 80 years as a toy shop, the storefront at the corner of North State and Warren streets will become a tattoo parlor. Doug Mendoza set up shop next to the former French’s Toy Shop on Warren Street seven years ago. Now, he’s renovating the neighboring store …

Without a developer, Concord might buy Employment Security site

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Come spring, the city could dig into its own pockets to buy the New Hampshire Employment Security site on South Main Street. More than a year has passed since the city began working with the state to find a developer to buy the property. But Matt Walsh, director …

Downtown: Foodie haven Wellington’s Marketplace is on the way to Concord

Monday, March 3, 2014

Randy and Debra Barnes have a greenhouse at their home in Bow. They own five grills. On one of their first dates, Randy Barnes taught his now-wife how to make sausage from scratch. “We’re foodies,” Debra Barnes said. “We love food. We spend our days going, ‘What are …

Downtown: Above the Main Street construction, a good night’s sleep

Monday, February 24, 2014

When the garbage truck rumbles past the Endicott Hotel at 4:30 a.m., Frank Albanese wakes up. When the snowplows come through downtown in the early hours of the morning, he hears them. “We do live in the city,” …

Downtown: A family tradition continues on Main Street

Monday, February 17, 2014

She worked in her grandmother’s restaurant in her native Albania, in the kitchen where she learned to cook, in what she said was the biggest hotel restaurant in the city. She worked in her brother’s restaurant on Pleasant …