Elm Grove to break ground on $20 million housing project on Main Street in Salem

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Jul. 14—SALEM — A Manchester developer plans to break ground next week on a 74-unit affordable-housing project in Salem, about a mile from the sprawling Tuscan Village, which has become the focal point of upscale rental housing in southern New Hampshire.

In a statement, Elm Grove Properties said it has secured federal low-income tax credit for $20 million for the Depot & Main project, which will be at 41 Main St.

"The market has created a desperate demand for affordable housing solutions for New Hampshire's workforce," Matt Menning, principal and head of operations at Elm Grove, said in a statement.

He said the Salem project provides easy access to nearby jobs, shopping, services, transportation and Tuscan Village. According to New Hampshire Housing, rents at Depot & Main will range from $1,200 for an efficiency apartment to $1,550 for a two-bedroom.

Located at the Interstate 93 doorway to New Hampshire, Salem comprises 29,600 residents and is the seventh-largest community in the state, according to latest data from the U.S. Census.

The real-estate listing website Zillow pegs the median rent in Salem at $2,342, as of this week. The amount represented a jump of $133 over the previous month, and 18 rentals were available.

The Elm Grove property will be a little more than a mile from Tuscan Village, the 3-million-square-foot village which includes apartments, restaurants, stores, a six-acre pond and space for office use.

Construction continues at Tuscan Village, which is three times the size of the adjacent Mall at Rockingham Park.

Tuscan Village has advertised its 281 apartments for $2,200 to $5,200 a month, according to an October article in the New Hampshire Sunday News.

Elm Grove is making use of federal financing tools designed to create apartments for low- and moderate-income families, it said in the statement.

"These 74 new units of housing will help meet the critical need to build and preserve affordable rental housing for our state's workforce and other residents," said Rob Dapice, executive director/chief executive of New Hampshire Housing.

According to New Hampshire Housing, the tax-credit equity financing was $5 million; the tax-exempt bond financing was $13 million; and the New Hampshire Housing Affordable Housing Fund loaned $5 million.

The Royal Bank of Canada purchased the tax credits, according to Elm Grove. The project also received Community Development Block Grant funds administered by the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority.

The lead architect in the project is Steven Lewis of Manchester, and the general contractor is Gary Chicoine Construction Company of Weare.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 26.