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Manchester project inching ahead

The development of downtown Manchester is moving along — though at a slightly slower pace than had been expected.

“We’re in the process of site plan review, or preparing for site plan review,” said David Hopkins, of Hoppet Design and Construction, Inc. “I’ll submit that as fast as I can, then we go to public hearing, but no one’s gotten in our face and said ‘We don’t want you here.’”

Site Plan Review is done through the County. Officials review elevations, the actual site plan, parking possibilities and pervious areas.

Hopkins purchased the building in downtown Manchester that currently houses the Manchester Food Center, Mamma Java and Go Figure.

“We decided to run the grocery store ourselves,” Hopkins said, after he purchased the building. “We’re now the landlords for the other tenants.”

Hopkins said things are moving slower than he had hoped, but he’s still excited about the project.

“My concept is Nantucket-Martha’s Vineyard-Marine,” Hopkins said several months ago, including shingles, white trim, gables, trellises, arbors and flower boxes.

Hopkins said he plans to keep the signage on the building to a minimum and placing overhead utility wires in the ground.

The new structure will contain several 5,700 to 7,000 square feet commercial spaces on the ground floor, six condos on the second floor and two on the third. He said he is well aware of the 35-foot height restriction in Manchester.

The eight condos will be between 1,200 and 2,600 square feet, Hopkins said, and sell for approximately $475,000.

Gated, covered parking will be provided for residents while retail parking will remain exactly the same.

“It’s our No. 1 priority, this project,” Hopkins said. “Our goal was to move dirt in the spring, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen.”

Private land planner Bill Palmer, who’s client purchased the other downtown Manchester building complex, gave his update to the Manchester Community Council yesterday.

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