Penacook Landing project timeline extended while funding sought

  • The former Allied Leather Tannery site and one of its few remaining structures is seen in Penacook on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. The Penacook Family Physicians offices, built on a section of the property that was sold off in 2011, are seen in the background. Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor file

  • An initial rendering of the project, titled Penacook Landing developed by Burnell Johnson Architects. —Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 8/20/2018 3:03:34 PM

The developers proposing mostly low-income apartments in Penacook have another year to present their plans to the city.

The Caleb Development Corporation was granted an extension of its major site plan approval last week by the planning board while it attempts to secure low-income housing tax credits, which the developers maintain is critical to the project’s success.

The deadlines for the Penacook Landing, a 54-apartment complex project at the former Penacook tannery site on Canal Street, are tight: Tax credit applications are due Friday and tentatively scheduled to be announced on Oct. 25, according to a report written by Deputy City Manager of Redevelopment Matt Walsh.

That’s before Concord will find out whether its application for $500,000 worth of Community Development Block Grant money will be approved. A New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority spokesperson said the board of directors is scheduled to vote on the applications Nov. 1.

Both sources of funding are crucial to the project moving forward. The CDBG money would be used to pay for demolition and site improvements.

But the tax credits are a bigger piece of the puzzle. Robert Bernardin, Caleb’s director of acquisitions, said the developers are relying on the money to fund 75 percent of the project’s first phase of 34 apartments. The project’s first phase is expected to cost $7.7 million.

Penacook Landing received the third-lowest score out of 13 projects that applied for tax credits on its first application earlier this year, despite removing a senior preference clause from its financial contract last year in favor of being a multigenerational housing development. On a scale of 1 to 200, it scored an 88. 

Caleb’s purchase of the property is contingent upon securing funding. Walsh has said if all goes well, the sale of the property could occur before its Dec. 31 deadline, and construction would start in the spring.

Because of a shift in the rules surrounding tax credits for new construction, the Caleb Foundation was unable to apply for the funding directly; however, Concord is able to apply for the funds, do the site work on the company’s behalf, and then later transfer the property.

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