Planning Board approves two age-restricted housing developments 

By JAMIE L. COSTA

Monitor staff

Published: 08-18-2023 10:52 AM

Two local developers are moving ahead with separate plans to construct 55-plus residential projects to cater to the city’s aging population.

Once complete, more than 150 apartments and units will be available for residents over the age of 55 and those with physical ailments in need of assisted living.

The two properties, one on Old Loudon Road and the other one on East Side Drive, are less than a mile from each other but their development plans are entirely different – one is new construction, while the other is the redevelopment of an existing complex that will include tearing down and rebuilding existing units. Both received approval from the Concord Planning Board Wednesday night.

Old Loudon Road

In a wooded area off Old Loudon Road where a few homeless camps are located, James Palmisano, the president of Construction, Planning and Management, Inc., wants to construct three identical multi-family buildings with 144 units, a clubhouse, a pool and two pickleball courts for residential use. Some units will feature housing specific to those with hearing impairments, and other ailments.

The plans for the 16-acre parcel call for green space and landscaping, connectivity between buildings and access to garage and unit-specific parking for vehicles. Behind the property is a walking trail that connects with an existing, private trail that connects to the Broken Ground Trail system.

A traffic study was submitted with the proposal and looked at the traffic impacts along Loudon Road at Old Loudon Road and D’Amante Drive, Old Loudon Road and Portsmouth Street and Route 9 at Old Loudon Road and the Heights Courtyard Plaza driveway. The study indicated that the project will not have a substantial impact on traffic in those areas.

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Senior project manager Matt Peterson of Keach-Nordstrom Associates on Wednesday presented board members with updated landscaping designs and plans to construct a sidewalk along the south side of the property bordering Loudon Road.

Construction, Planning and Management, Inc., based in Massachusetts, says on its website that it has developed and built over 3,000 multi-family and single-family units and is the “premier developer and manager” of 55-plus rental communities in New England.

Havenwood-Heritage Heights

Less than a mile up the road at 149 East Side Drive, Mike Palmieri, president of Havenwood-Heritage Heights, presented plans alongside Erin Lambert, vice president of civil engineering at Wilcox & Barton, Inc., to redevelop the south end of the retirement community as part the second phase of the project that began in 2014. 

The retirement community has been in the city since 1967 and houses and aids more than 600 residents, Palmieri explained, and the two campuses are strewn between 40 acres of land.

“The goal is to continue to give our residents a great place to live and a great quality of life,” he continued. “Some of the units are well beyond 30 years of age and don’t meet the requirements that are needed.”

As part of the expansion, a new road will be constructed through campus and will provide parking directly in front of the apartments, Lambert explained, reducing dead-end parking areas. The access will give residents front door access to their homes and direct accessibility to walkways throughout the property.

On the south end of the property, developers plan to tear down and build three new buildings – two of which will have four units while the third will have five. As part of the construction, all units will have a front porch, a garage and parking out front and a patio out back or the ability to create a screened-in porch.

The city of Concord has been struggling to meet housing demands for the last several years. Though there are several housing developments underway across the city, the housing vacancy rate remains below 1%, which is well below state and national averages. While 55-plus developments don’t directly help young families, they can have an indirect benefit as empty nesters sell their neighborhood homes as they downsize near retirement, opening up other housing stock in the city.

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