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Derry agrees to sell shoe factory land for housing

Trident Building, a housing development company, is looking to buy old shoe factory land, about 1.69 acres, at 19 Elm St. to build up to 24 affordable housing units.

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On Nov. 13, the Town Council unanimously voted to approve the sale.

“We’ve had multiple discussions and this is a great project presented to us after a lot of people came and went,” said council member Jim MacEachern. “It’ll be a great addition to that area in town.”

The land was home to a shoe factory originally built in 1909 and housed many different factories throughout the 20th century.

The town came to own the land in 2015 via a tax deed. When the town examined the building, officials found large quantities of hazardous waste stored inside. The town spent $150,000 in demolishing the building and removing the hazardous waste.

Originally, the council had planned to sell the property for $150,000 to make up the spent revenue. While there had been three interested bidders, after examining the property more closely, all three either withdrawn or lowered their offers.

After going back and forth with two of the original interested parties, the council ultimately decided to accept Trident’s offer.

There were more hazardous materials found around the property as recently as September, according to reports from the Environmental Protection Agency, but they have since been removed. The EPA paid for the removal of contaminated soil.

Even with the recently removed soil, Trident still agreed to the purchase. While workforce housing wasn’t the intention of the council originally, the councilors are pleased to have finally found a new use for the land.

“I want people to know we had worked on this piece for a long time and I was adamant that I was trying to get the money the town has invested and getting that back,” said Council member Brian Chirichiello. “We tried different avenues and it’s tough to market that property.” — Katelyn Sahagian/

Saint Anselm College breaks ground on Grappone Hall

On Friday, October 13, 2023 members of the Saint Anselm College community gathered together to celebrate breaking ground on Grappone Hall, a new building that will house the Jean School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The new building estimated at 45,000 square feet, will provide nursing, public health, and health science students with the learning environment and experiences they need to become the next generation of healthcare leaders. It will include a 150-seat auditorium, a public health community space, an 11,000 square foot state-of-the art simulation center, collaborative learning spaces for kinesiology, anatomy, and physiology, and community spaces on two floors for students to meet and study.

From left: Roger Jean, Francine Jean, Beverly Grappone, Dean Diane Uzarski, and President Joseph Favazza in front of the architectural rendering. (Courtesy photo)

Saint Anselm nursing has a strong reputation in New England, with students consistently outpacing the national average on the NCLEX licensure exam and finding placements in some of the top hospitals in the country. The Jean School of Nursing and Health Sciences, which launched July 1, 2023, will position the department for growth in graduate programs, community collaborations, and more. Saint Anselm’s new public health and health sciences majors also will be housed at the new school.

Plans for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences are already underway with focus on new interprofessional opportunities for co-learning in both the classroom and local community, bi-directional collaborations with health system, public health, nonprofit and industry partners, building new majors and tracks within existing majors, and building experiences for all students to examine the intersectionality between health care, the liberal arts and Catholic Benedictine tradition.

Thanks to their transformational gift commitment of $10 million, the School of Nursing and Health Sciences will be named for Roger ‘70 HD’06 and Francine Jean. Additionally, the new building will be named Grappone Hall after a generous $5 million commitment by Robert and Beverly Grappone P’04 HD’21 to the college.

As part of the congressionally directed spending bill from December 2022, Saint Anselm was awarded $2.2 million from the federal government towards the construction of this new facility. Members from N.H. Representative Chris Pappas office were present at the event.

National existing-home sales receded 4.1% in October

Existing-home sales dropped in October, according to the National Association of Realtors. Among the four major U.S. regions, sales slid in the Northeast, South and West but were unchanged in the Midwest. All four regions experienced year-over-year sales declines.

Total existing-home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – fell 4.1% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.79 million in October. Year-over-year, sales tumbled 14.6% (down from 4.44 million in October 2022).

“Prospective homebuyers experienced another difficult month due to the persistent lack of housing inventory and the highest mortgage rates in a generation,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Multiple offers, however, are still occurring, especially on starter and mid-priced homes, even as price concessions are happening in the upper end of the market.”

Total housing inventory registered at the end of October was 1.15 million units, up 1.8% from September but down 5.7% from one year ago (1.22 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.4 months in September and 3.3 months in October 2022.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $391,800, an increase of 3.4% from October 2022 ($378,800). All four U.S. regions registered price increases.

“While circumstances for buyers remain tight, home-sellers have done well as prices continue to rise year-over-year, including a new all-time high for the month of October,” Yun said. “In fact, a typical homeowner has accumulated more than $100,000 in housing wealth over the past three years.”

According to the monthly REALTORS Confidence Index, properties typically remained on the market for 23 days in October, up from 21 days in September 2023 and October 2022. Sixty-six percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month.Infographic October 2023 Ehs

First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in October, up from 27% in September and identical to October 2022. NAR’s 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 32%.

All-cash sales accounted for 29% of transactions in October, unchanged from September but up from 26% in October 2022.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 15% of homes in October, down from 18% in September and 16% one year ago.

Distressed sales — foreclosures and short sales — represented 2% of sales in October, virtually unchanged from last month and the previous year.

Mortgage Rates: According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.44% as of November 16. That’s down from 7.50% the previous week but up from 6.61% one year ago.

“Fortunately, mortgage rates have fallen for the third straight week, stirring up buying interest,” Yun added. “Though limited now, expect housing inventory to improve after this winter and heading into the spring. More inventory will result in more home sales.”

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales: Single-family home sales declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.38 million in October, down 4.2% from 3.53 million in September and 14.6% from the previous year. The median existing single-family home price was $396,100 in October, up 3.0% from October 2022.

Existing condominium and co-op sales recorded a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 410,000 units in October, down 2.4% from September and 14.6% from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $356,000 in October, up 7.6% from the prior year ($331,000).

Regional Breakdown: Existing-home sales in the Northeast dipped 4.0% from September to an annual rate of 480,000 in October, down 15.8% from October 2022. The median price in the Northeast was $439,200, up 7.5% from the previous year.

At an annual rate of 930,000 in October, existing-home sales in the Midwest were unchanged from the prior month but down 13.9% from one year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $285,100, up 4.2% from October 2022.

Existing-home sales in the South retracted 7.1% from September to an annual rate of 1.69 million in October, a decline of 14.6% from the previous year. The median price in the South was $357,700, up 3.5% from last year.

In the West, existing-home sales decreased 1.4% from the prior month to an annual rate of 690,000 in October, down 14.8% from one year ago. The median price in the West was $602,200, up 2.3% from October 2022.

MVSB to open new full-service banking office in North Conway

Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB)) will open a new, state-of-the-art banking office at 1498 White Mountain Highway in North Conway in 2024. Construction is expected to begin in the spring.

“MVSB’s mortgage and commercial lending teams have been supporting local residents and businesses in the Mount Washington Valley for several years, and our relaxed, customer- and community-focused approach has been well received,” said Marcus Weeks, MVSB president.

P:projects3813 Mvsb Settlers Green400 Design420 Drawings202

MVSB’s new branch located at 1498 White Mountain Highway in North Conway is slated to open in 2024. Rendering by Warrenstreet Architects, Inc.

“We have been regularly asked to extend our services with a branch office and we are very excited to have found a location that will offer that convenience to new and existing customers. We look forward to furthering our investment and involvement in this energetic community.”

The new building has been designed by Warrenstreet Architects, Inc. and construction will be managed by Conneston Construction, Inc. (CCI).

Construction begins for Apartments at 249 Main Street in Nashua

Construction of the Apartments at 249 Main Street in Nashua began recently. This mixed-income, six-story infill development in the middle of downtown Nashua will create a total of 45 new rental apartments in a combination of one and two-bedroom units.

In addition to a small outdoor courtyard, there will be a community room, management office and laundry facilities on the first floor, as well as an elevator servicing the entire building.

With a less than .5% rental vacancy rate and median monthly gross rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Nashua currently at $2,141 per month, the need for these apartments is significant.

“This is a very challenging time for those trying to find an apartment they can afford to rent, and challenging for developers like our organization seeking to create affordable options for working households,” says Robert Tourigny, executive director for NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire. “This property will increase affordable rental options in Nashua, and also beautify a previously unattractive, underutilized lot in the heart of downtown,” he continues.

In addition to having managed the pre-development process, including securing approvals and financing for this project, Jennifer Vadney, neighborhood development director, and Logan Johnson, neighborhood development project manager, interface with the construction contractor, architect, and other partners on a daily basis.

“This is an exciting opportunity for NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire but, most importantly, it is an exciting opportunity for the City of Nashua and the people who will ultimately get to live here,” says Jennifer Vadney.
“Our development team and City staff have been terrific to work with to get us to construction. The Apartments at
249 Main Street will be an asset to Nashua.”

Project architect is John Jordan of John S. Jordan Design and construction contractor is Hutter Construction.

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