John Chagnon of Ambit Engineering, who represented McNabb at a recent Planning Board meeting, said the micro-unit housing project was dropped “due to opposition from abutters, primarily due to parking.”
The micro-housing project couldn’t move forward after the Board of Adjustment declined to give McNabb a variance allowing the first floor of the redevelopment project to be used for housing.
McNabb was also planning to seek a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to provide just 18 parking spaces for the former micro-unit project when 35 are required by zoning.
Here’s what to expect:Hearth Food Garden coming to Portsmouth’s Brick Market development
The Planning Board granted site plan approval for developer Mark McNabb’s project to redevelop the 1818 Treadwell-Jenness mansion at 93 Pleasant St., and build a two-story addition behind it all for office space.
“Unfortunately that micro-housing project has been eliminated and now the entire use of the existing building and proposed addition will be office, and a large portion of that is already scheduled to be used by the applicant’s businesses,” he said.
Many neighbors opposed the granting of that CUP, although it never got to a Planning Board vote because the housing variance wasn’t granted.
The residential units aimed at downtown workers were slated to be rented at market rate, according to comments from McNabb’s representatives.
Portsmouth’s 93 Pleasant Street:George Washington, Elks and, now, micro-apartments The new office complex will feature the same 18 parking spaces, Chagnon said.
The board voted unanimously to grant site plan approval for the office project. Board member Corey Clark acknowledged he was “a little disappointed that” the project wasn’t residential.
He added that while the housing project “didn’t work with the site,” he thought it was “a good concept.” More:Deck expansion for Portsmouth waterfront restaurant approved over objections
But he added, “I don’t know if the program is as good for Portsmouth as an acceptable program would have been for housing.” The Historic District Commission already has approved the project.
Legg stated the office redevelopment was “a better looking project.” Dexter Legg, who chaired the board at the time of the office project’s approval last week, agreed, saying, “We need more apartments.”