Mental Health Center of Manchester hopes to add 6 support units

·2 min read

Sep. 7—The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester hopes to add six more housing units to one of its properties in Manchester.

Plans call for building a 3,500-square-foot two-story addition to 323 Manchester St. The number of rooms at the congregate living facility would increase from 16 to 22 beds.

The organization has used the location for its single room occupancy program for individuals in need of mental health support since 1984, according to an application with the zoning board of adjustments. The board will hear the plans at a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

Site plan approval and a conditional use permit for parking are required for the project to move forward, according to city officials.

The addition is needed to meet a requirement of a state's license renewal to add a minimum of six additional beds by the end of the year, according to the application.

"The result will be a well-designed and functional six room addition incorporated into the existing building," the application reads. "After the addition is constructed, the building will still match the overall character of the area."

The project will still meet most setbacks.

"The expansion of this program is essential to the long-term wellbeing of New Hampshire residents and will not have an adverse effect on the neighborhood, largely because of the size of the building compared to the lot size is consistent with the area and the single room occupancy program has existed for decades with no neighborhood concerns," the application reads.

The organization says it would be unable to find another property in the city to build the six units elsewhere.

"Manchester's housing inventory is very low and the prices are extreme," the application reads.

Renovations will also be made to the existing structure.

The organization backed up its claim the project will not diminish the value of surrounding properties with letters from two real estate brokers. The project will not bring undue traffic, congestion or stress within the neighborhood, according to Michael Harrington, a licensed real estate broker.

"In my professional opinion the renovation and expansion of 323 Manchester St. will not diminish the value of surrounding properties," he wrote. "In fact, investment of this type has the impact of encouraging other owners to make improvements that will increase values of all the surrounding properties."

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