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Downtown: A changing residential landscape in Concord

  • The Concord developer behind Remi’€™s Block has big plans for the corner of North Spring and Pleasant streets. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Sunday, September 02, 2018

Remi Hinxhia is at it again.

The Concord developer behind Remi’s Block has big plans for the corner of North Spring and Pleasant streets. You may have noticed the 2-10 N. Spring St. apartment building getting a facelift, with new dormers popping up in recent months.

Hinxhia said he plans to bring five townhouse condos to the site, each 1,800 square feet with three bedrooms and three baths. He’s got an idea of how much they’ll cost, but is hesitant to say, noting prices could increase between now and the end of construction.

The building is part of a parcel that includes 62 Pleasant St. Hinxhia said he’s been eyeing the land for some time, but was unable to come to an agreement with the former owner until last year.

Concord assessing data shows the land was appraised at $496,400 in 2017; it was sold for $578,000 in December.

Hinxhia said work has been ongoing at the North Spring Street site since April. He’s a little behind schedule, saying he had to do “a whole gut job” on the 1880s-era building.

“I never do a patch job, so I had to tear the whole insides out,” he said.

The Pleasant Street buildings have been vacant for the past few years. Hinxhia said he plans to fix the squat brick buildings up and turn them one into a bakery and one into a restaurant. He said wants to operate at least one of the enterprises; if he can’t find enough people to work the other one, he said he’ll rent out the other half.

That corner of Concord has become popular for good-sized market-rate housing; a hop, skip and a jump to the south is 4 Wall St., which has been turned into two two-bedroom apartments by Concord Housing & Redevelopment, each totaling 1,500 square feet. The property at 10-12 S. State St. was also renovated into a 1,500 two-bedroom apartment. Concord Housing estimated last winter that all three apartments would rent for $1,100 to $1,500.

And just down the street, Harold Ekstrom, who owns a bevy of buildings in the city, is planning a big multifamily elderly housing development.

Consisting of what is now 56, 56½, 62-66 Warren St.; 9-11 Greenwood Ave. and 32-36 N. Spring St., the development will contain 38 units and be four stories high.

The project was granted several variances at a June meeting of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, perhaps most notably easing a requirement that elderly housing be located within a certain distance of elderly services. The application notes such requirements were part of federal housing standards that have now changed.

That being said, the development is within what makes so many of these other projects so attractive to developers: downtown.

City sounds off

Now streaming: a city-produced podcast about Concord’s business, arts & entertainment, tourism and health scene.

Talk Concord launched its first episode last Wednesday on the city’s website. According to the description, the monthly podcast will touch on current and future happenings in the Capital City. Episodes will be about 20-30 minutes.

The city’s certainly been making efforts this year to broaden its online marketing efforts. Officials launched a new city website this summer, following the February launch of a website dedicated to economic development.

City spokeswoman Stefanie Phillips and Economic Development Director Suzi Pegg will be the stars of the show, Phillips said. The idea is to give residents a more in-depth look at what’s going on in the city than what can be achieved in a Facebook post. It also gives the city another medium to reach people.

“Not everyone uses Facebook; not everyone uses Twitter or is signed up for our news alerts,” she said.

The two will be talking to city staff or members of the community each week, Phillips said, giving them “another way to interact with the city and tell their story.”

The podcast is available on SoundCloud.

Golf course goof

Readers might have seen an article recently saying the city council forgave Beaver Meadow Golf Course’s deficit at last month’s regular meeting.

Turns out we jumped the gun – the issue will go before a public hearing at next week’s city council meeting on Monday.

The city’s administration is asking that $124,300 be sent back to the Beaver Meadow Golf Course fund, the bulk of which would cover the fund’s annual contribution to the general fund. The rest is used to keep the fund from having a negative capital balance. It’s about 11 percent of the course’s budget this year.

Happy long weekend

City offices and the library will be closed all day Monday due to the Labor Day holiday. Trash pickup will be delayed by one day as well.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)