CONWAY – A construction company has been hired for the first of four affordable apartment buildings approved for the Avesta Housing Development Corp site. near Technology Lane.
Patrick Hess, project manager at Avesta, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Maine, said on Tuesday that they hope to begin construction this fall on the first 40-unit, three-story building.
“We selected Hutter Construction of New Ipswich,” he said, noting that the company built projects funded by New Hampshire Housing (Finance Authority.
“I don’t have an exact start date – I can tell you that it is still possible to start construction this fall, but it is not definitive as we have been working on some technical issues in the construction process related to CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) requirements, ”Hess said.
The project is funded by tax credits through New Hampshire Housing, Community Development Block Grants and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, Hess said.
He said if the project started this fall as planned, construction of the first building would take 12 to 14 months and would be completed by the end of 2022 or early 2023.
The Conway Planning Board gave conditional approval on June 11, 2020 to Avesta to build 156 rental housing units for the workforce and the elderly off Technology Lane.
Avesta owns and operates over 90 affordable housing units in Maine and New Hampshire.
Technology Lane will be extended to a southern connection to Route 16 across from Merrill Farm Resort.
According to Hess, the first building will contain a mix of affordable and market-priced rental units, including 29 one-bedroom units and 11 two-bedroom units. Thirty of them will be affordable rentals and 10 will be offered at market rates.
“The affordable rate units will be for households earning 30, 50 and 60 percent or less of the MAI (median area income) as defined by the HUD (Federal Housing and Urban Development),” said Hess.
He said the HUD has determined that the 100% MAI for a four-person household in Carroll County in 2021 is $ 75,000.
“They change from year to year, so at the time of occupancy it will change a bit, but I would expect, for example, under current HUD guidelines for Conway, for someone earning 50% or less of income. The region’s median ($ 42,650 for a family of four) would pay $ 800 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $ 960 for a two-bedroom, including utilities, ”he said.
Those earning 60% of the MAI, or $ 51,180 for a four-person household, would pay $ 960 per month for a one-bedroom and $ 1,152 for a two-bedroom; those earning 30 percent of the MAI, or $ 25,590 for a family of four, would pay $ 480 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $ 576 for a two-bedroom apartment.
The first building will not be subject to an age limit, Hess said.
Avesta purchased 37 acres from MWV Economic Council for the project. It was originally a property located at the foot of Tasker Hill Road in Conway, but this proposal met with stiff local opposition from neighbors, leading Avesta to refocus on d ‘other properties, which led to the selection of the property adjoining the MWV Technology Center campus.
All four buildings will be equipped with elevators, Hess said.
Hess said the buildings will be constructed using “passive design standards” – a design approach that seeks to minimize the energy required to heat and cool residential structures by using additional insulation and carefully doors and windows. selected to limit the environmental impact of buildings and to provide high quality living conditions indoors.
“We are excited to be developing our first property in Conway, where we know there is a huge need for affordable housing,” said Hess.
He noted that it is also a community that has adopted an inclusionary zoning ordinance, “a clear signal that it is working on the creation of more housing. So we are very happy to work in a community that has laid the foundations. “
Seniors rental housing would be considered for one of the other three buildings, said Hess, who added that the decision had not yet been made, however. Building 2 will also have 40 units, while Buildings 3 and 4 will have 38 each. Each building will total 12,619 square feet.
In other development news, the Conway Planning Board is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. at the Marshall Gym at Conway Rec at Kennett Middle School this evening to continue reviewing the Viewpoint North Conway proposal site plan, LLC to construct a three-story, 59,412- square foot hotel on the site of the closed Intervale Motel at Intervale Cross Road and Route 16 across from Intervale Scenic Vista.
The council will consider a nuisance complaint filed by Roy J. Tilsley Jr. of Bernstein Shur of Manchester on behalf of litigants, including numerous attackers, with council to deal with the complaint “point by point”, according to Ben Colbath, chairman of the planning board.
The proposal met with much opposition, with local residents claiming it is too large for the 3.66-acre parcel that was sold in December for $ 1.4 million by the John R. Cannell Revocable Trust to a Massachusetts investor group led by hotelier PJ Patel.
Abutters also says the hotel will increase traffic to the area, although a developer-commissioned traffic study by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. of Bedford and South Portland said “vehicle trips associated with the project ( 105 rooms (now 98-room) the hotel would have negligible impacts on the adjacent road network ‘during most hours.
Abutters also protested against the developers’ plan to cut down a large, century-old maple tree that grows there.