With its partners, Capital Regional Development Council (CRDC) is proud to announce that financing is in place to restore a prominent downtown building, which dates back to 1870. After years of inattention, the building known as the Vegas Block, will soon be renovated, for first floor commercial usage, and the upstairs featuring residential units.
The City of Concord’s public investment in the Downtown Complete Streets Project has again yielded significant private investment in the downtown. Soon, with the help of four financing participants, its prime contractor and its owner, downtown will see further improvement to its Main Street, with the recreation of this building as a mixed use building, with 20 residential units and 3 commercial units.
The restoration of this building, to be known as Remi’s Block, has been the vision of the owner of the property, Remi Hinxhia, a well-known local businessman in Concord.
Remi, his sister Theodhora and their family noted, “We are delighted and proud that this day has finally come.” He also noted that with hard work they own a part of historic downtown Concord, “We are dedicated to making our part of downtown Concord better for all citizens now and for generations to come. We want to thank all of our team members, friends, and business colleagues that helped to put this project together. With the help of all my team and family the acquisition of the Vegas Block became reality. It was felt that the restoration of this historical building from its dilapidated state would add to the overall renovation of Concord’s downtown re-development. Now that the construction of Remi’s Block is a reality I am grateful for the work completed by all those who are participating in this project and look forward to its completion.”
The construction financing was unusual as it required the collaboration of four entities, with Mr. Hinxhia, to make the project work. Sugar River Bank took the lead in structuring a financing package with CRDC, the City of Concord Revolving Loan Fund Program and Merrimack County Savings Bank, in combination, to provide for the restoration costs. This sort of financing structure is an example of economic development, which often requires a blending of several financing sources, to make a project feasible.
“Sugar River Bank takes great pleasure and values the opportunity to have been able to join with our community partners to facilitate this project,” said Joe Conway, Vice President, Commercial Lending, of Sugar River Bank. “We recognize the importance of renovating this historic building and the benefits it will provide to the City’s long term strategic plan and vision for Main Street. The Bank feels that the teamwork demonstrated by our colleagues is the appropriate process, to achieve the shared goal of making a challenging project possible.”
“CRDC is particularly pleased with the project,” said Stephen Heavener, CRDC Executive Director. “As a mission based non-profit organization, CRDC was able to provide gap financing into Remi’s Block, which will result in further revitalization in the heart of Downtown, along with the potential of economic benefits to the community. Liz Sweeney, CRDC’s loan officer worked diligently with the borrower and the other financing entities. This is a perfect example of how CRDC can provide gap financing and assist in getting a deal to work.”
Local contractor, Cobb Hill Construction is overseeing construction.
“Cobb Hill Construction is delighted to have been chosen for this project”, said Jerry Kingwill, Cobb Hill’s President. “We have a long history of working with the City of Concord, local property owners and financial institutions to renovate and restore historic buildings. We are particularly proud of our work on Main Street, where we have completed several award-winning projects. Having the opportunity to be part of a team that has the vision to revitalize one of Concord's oldest buildings, is the kind of challenge Cobb Hill sees as the right thing to do for the community. The structure is in tough shape, but when completed, the work will breathe new life into the building for many years to come.”
Restoration of older buildings often requires the collective efforts of a number of financing participants, who cooperate toward the shared goal of making the project possible.
“Redevelopment of the Remi Block will remove a long-term prominent blight and foster creation of additional market rate housing, both of which are critically important to the vitality of our downtown” said Tom Aspell, City Manager. “The City is proud to partner with CRDC, Sugar River Bank, and Merrimack County Savings Bank on a financing package to get this project done.” In addition to being part of the financing package, the City provided special property tax incentives, valued at more than $300,000, to help make the project viable.
Construction is anticipated to be completed in November 2016.