Concord planning board to hear proposal for Exit 13 development 

  • A conceptual design drawn up by TFM, a civil engineering firm, shows a wide range of buildings along almost a half-mile of the river. They include medical offices, a hotel, a “brew pub” and several restaurant and retail buildings, as well as assisted-living space and 168 apartments or condominiums in five large buildings. Courtesy of TFM

  • A conceptual design drawn up by TFM, a civil engineering firm, shows a wide range of buildings along almost a half-mile of the river. They include medical offices, a hotel, a “brew pub” and several restaurants and retail buildings, as well as assisted-living space and 168 apartments or condominiums in five large buildings. Jonathan Van Fleet—Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 7/20/2021 5:39:07 PM

Developers are seeking approval for their plan for a mixed-use development near Exit 13 at the site of Concord’s old drive-in movie theater.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m., the Concord Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the redevelopment plan for the property south of Manchester Street on the east bank of the Merrimack River.

The City Council amended the zoning ordinance in 2019 after a request from developers, allowing the area near Exit 13 off I-93 to be classified as a Gateway Performance District. If the project goes forward, it will be the first mixed-use development of this size in the city.

The first phase of the commercial and residential project includes a total of 266 housing units in five multi-family buildings and a combined gas station, car wash, sandwich shop and convenience store. Subsequent phases will add a grocery store, medical office building, restaurant, assisted living facility, and independent living townhomes.

The proposed redevelopment would run up against an existing strip mall and some residential buildings. According to an application from the developers, current tenants, including Veano’s Italian Restaurant, have been notified of the project.

The land south of Black Hill Road along the river is currently a forested area, the former site of a drive-in movie theater.

“Scattered and unauthorized homeless camps are presently located around the property and waterfront,” according to the subdivision application. A man was arrested at one of those camps last week after a person was stabbed following a fight, Concord Police said.

A report prepared by the City’s Community Development Department offered feedback on the plan, including a suggestion that the developers reduce the number of proposed parking spots in order to protect the Merrimack River’s water quality.

“According to the Merrimack River Watershed Council, the Merrimack River is one of the most endangered rivers in the nation,” the report said. Concord’s 2017 Open Space Plan called for less “impervious cover,” like parking spaces, along the river.

The city’s report also recommended more green space be available for the development’s future residents, “as there is an overwhelming amount of asphalt.”

Images of the project plans and more detailed information can be found on the Concord City Council web site.




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