More details on a development that would change the Manchester skyline are emerging ahead of the city’s Planning Commission meeting today.
Hourigan Development’s request to rezone the Southern States silos at 2-4 Manchester Road is on the agenda for the commission’s 1:30 p.m. session, where the developer hopes to get a recommendation to allow up to 20 stories of a mix of multi-family residential, office, and hotel uses that would span up to about 575,000 square feet.
Last summer Hourigan began plotting the project, which would entail tearing down the dormant silos to make way for a sizable mixed-use building. The tower could also rise above 1,200 parking spaces in a podium deck and ground floor retail space.
Preston Lloyd of law firm Williams Mullen, Hourigan’s counsel in the rezoning, emphasized that the building’s ultimate use and design haven’t been finalized.
“It’s important to remember this isn’t a specific proposal but a request to tee up the zoning to allow uses and a density and configuration that allow the marketing of the property,” Lloyd said. “We’re optimistic that once the zoning has been obtained it’ll then allow us to focus on marketing.”
Lloyd said the project’s size offers a lot of flexibility in how Hourigan will use it.
“(There are) a lot of different ways it could ultimately be designed. But the key is maintaining flexibility in a way that also ensures that its design is one that’s consistent with a location that is as unique and prominent as this one is,” he said.
At a virtual meeting last year of the Manchester Alliance neighborhood association Lloyd and Hourigan Development President Joe Marchetti III both said the silos were not in a condition that allows for adaptive reuse.
“You have double reinforced concrete that was used to house grain. It’s such that it’d be so prohibitively costly to try to readapt it that it’s just not feasible, unfortunately,” Marchetti said.
Lloyd said last week that adaptive reuse remains an implausible option.
“While we certainly appreciate that (the silos are) a unique architectural remnant of the industrial past of Manchester and something people are used to seeing, there’s really no economical way to work an adaptive reuse of those structures into a modern building while meeting code requirements and construction cost,” Lloyd said.
The 2.2-acre site is owned by a group that includes H. Pettus LeCompte. Lloyd said Hourigan has an agreement with the current land owners for the development of the property, though he didn’t specify whether it’s under contract. He added that it’s too early to estimate the project’s cost.
Hourigan’s project would rise just to the east of WVS Cos.’ South Falls Tower, construction of which is nearing the finish line.
Another Southside mixed-use project of a much smaller scale also is on today’s Planning Commission agenda.
Zach Kennedy, owner of Upward Builders, is seeking a special-use permit for a three-story mixed-use building at 1005 Westover Hills Blvd.
The 0.25-acre lot is currently green space, and Kennedy is proposing a 4,500-square-foot ground floor commercial space below 12 dwelling units that could be condos. Kennedy previously developed projects of a similar scale in Church Hill.
Both Kennedy’s special-use permit and Hourigan’s rezoning request are on the planning commission’s consent agenda, which is for ordinances that are considered routine and noncontroversial.
Both requests are then scheduled for a City Council vote on May 24.