First to Hit the Market: Halstead Merrimack

Eying an impending housing boom in Merrimack, NH, local developer Granite Commercial Real Estate set an aggressive goal in 2016 to deliver Halstead Merrimack, the town’s first new multifamily residential community in decades. They aimed to develop 280 units on a developmentally challenged, 20-acre site – a property that others had unsuccessfully attempted to redevelop in the past.

Granite Commercial engaged Bohler’s civil engineering and landscape architecture teams early in the development process to collaborate on site design and strategize an aggressive permitting schedule

See related: 5 times to engage your landscape architect during conceptual site design

Fast-Tracking Zoning and Approvals

To create the five-building residential community with freestanding clubhouse, the project required a zoning relief that the town had denied multiples times before. Through existing relationships with local officials and strong collaboration with the talented project team, Bohler’s team built consensus among the regulating stakeholders from the beginning to successfully obtain the approval. From there, Bohler filed all remaining permits concurrently and streamlined collaboration between departments to expedite the process. With this integrated approach, the team kept entitlements on track.

Overcoming Environmental Challenges

The 20-acre site featured a large brook running through the back of the property and was home to several endangered species. Both elements limited development to 10 acres, a fairly limited window to accommodate a sizeable project.

Bohler’s team worked with Granite Commercial and the project team to maximize the developable area. The team also began coordinating with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services during due diligence and continued throughout the entire design process to mitigate the environmental challenges. The collaboration between the design team and the State ensured a swift and efficient approval process.

Creating a Cohesive Community

Granite Commercial envisioned a residential community that would blend seamlessly into the natural environment, while still accomplishing their development goals for the property. Bohler’s landscape architecture team harmonized their design with existing site features, incorporating a trail network, and preserving as much of the mature, wooded areas as possible.

Delivering on the Vision

By engaging stakeholders, regulatory agencies, and multi-discipline design professionals in the earliest project phases, Bohler’s team helped Granite Commercial accomplish what several other teams could not – developing an environmentally challenging site into the first new multifamily community in Merrimack in decades.

280 units
20 acres
6 buildings

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