Developers paid $18.18 million for Steeplegateproperty

The interior of Steeplegate Mall was bare on April 14, 2022 without interior tenants that were ousted this month.

The interior of Steeplegate Mall was bare on April 14, 2022 without interior tenants that were ousted this month.

The east entrance of the Steeplegate Mall in Concord on Monday afternoon.

The east entrance of the Steeplegate Mall in Concord on Monday afternoon.

By DAVID BROOKS

Monitor staff

Published: 10-25-2023 4:28 PM

The Massachusetts developers seeking to replace Steeplegate Mall with a large mixed-use retail and housing complex paid $18.18 million for the 50-acre property, according to public real estate records.

That compares to the $10.3 million paid by Namdar Realty of New York when it bought the mall in 2016.

Both prices are a far cry from the roughly $80 million value assigned to the mall by the city of Concord in the retail center’s heyday more than a decade ago.

The recent purchase of Steeplegate Mall by Onyx Partners of Needman, Mass., follows their purchase in June of the adjoining 9-acre property holding Regal Cinema for $4.7 million, according to records at the Merrimack County Register of Deeds.

The developers are proposing to take down the cinema and most of the mall, building a huge mixed-use complex with retail and some 625 apartments. Three mall tenants – JC Penny, Altitude Trampoline Park and The Zoo Health Club – would remain in stand-alone buildings because they have long-term leases.

Representatives for Onyx presented initial plans to the Concord Planning Board earlier this month and indicated that work could start as early as next year and finish by 2026.

The project is among several large mixed-use projects put forward in and near Concord recently.

The biggest is some 944 units – apartments, townhouses and workforce housing – proposed along the east bank of the Merrimack River next to Sewall’s Falls along with stores and retail in what is called a walkable community.

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At the site of the former Concord Drive-In theater near Exit 13 on Manchester Street, another proposal calls for 266 apartments plus 24 townhomes and an assisted living facility, along with a gas station, restaurant, bank, medical and retail space.

Construction in the Rail Yard in the city’s South End off Langdon Avenue is proceeding with 98 units in the first phase may start renting this fall. Plans are for a total of about 200 units, both income-restricted and market-rate.

All told, some 3,000 housing units are proposed throughout the city, although some of those may never be built and a tight labor market and high interest rates mean even those that come to fruition may take several years.

New Hampshire Housing’s annual report says the state is roughly 20,000 units short of a housing market with enough vacancies and relatively stable costs with 90,000 new units needed by 2040.