Four apartment buildings planned for the old McIntosh College in Dover NH

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DOVER – Portsmouth-based developer Todd Baker, president of Baker Properties, plans to build four apartment buildings on the former McIntosh College property at 23 Cataract Ave.

Baker said each of the four multi-family apartment buildings is expected to have four floors with a total of 156 units. After purchasing the property in 2018, Baker and his team became involved with the city’s zoning committee when it assessed the rezoning of certain areas, such as the old McIntosh College plot, to better meet the needs. and changing community concerns.

“Many people have told us that Dover needs affordable housing,” Baker said. “We have designed this project with this in mind and hope to build 156 new residential units to help meet these needs.”

Baker has been involved in commercial real estate for two decades. His company owns more than a dozen commercial real estate developments in the area, including Bowl-O-Rama Square in Portsmouth, Exeter Crossing Square and Hampton Airfield.

“What we’re trying to do is find properties that we think can be improved to meet the needs of the community,” Baker said. “This is an important project for us, and we are looking forward to it.”

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The apartment development by Baker in Dover is planned for part of the 12.1 acre property. He noted that the existing buildings have been recently renovated and are leased to several local businesses and organizations like Great Bay Services, Great Bay Calvary Church and Rising Phoenix Martial Arts. The existing building, along with two existing residential units in the college’s former administrative offices at 61 Rutland Street, will remain intact, he said.

McIntosh Commons should be located near the Spaulding Toll Freeway, between Exits 7 and 8 of Rutland Street.

The vision of the McIntosh Commons apartments

One of the things that drew Baker to the Dover property was the visible frontage location on Route 16, where the property’s large parcel of land has a relatively small building footprint. Since most of the property is paved, there are parking areas for more than 300 spaces, where only 80 parking spaces are needed for existing buildings, he said. Baker said his team needed to reinvent the way to redevelop unused space.

McIntosh Commons Apartments are rated to vary in size. It envisions one-bedroom and one-bath units of 776 square feet, as well as two-bedroom and two-bath units of 1,168 square feet and three-bedroom and two-bath units of 1,554 feet. squares. About 28%, or 42, of the 156 units offered would be rent-limited to meet the definition of affordable housing in Dover, and the rest would be market value, he said.

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These apartment complexes are designed to have individual patios, underground parking and roof terraces. A clubhouse is proposed to include a fitness area, club room, administrative office, conference room and mail room, with a nearby pavilion that will have grills, as well as a golf course. health and a dog park.

“I think these amenities will be really appreciated by our future residents,” said Baker. “It is an extremely convenient place with a lot to offer.”

The McIntosh Commons Apartments would be located next to the Spaulding Toll Freeway, between Exits 7 and 8 on Rutland Street. It is a short walk from the Route 108 commercial corridor and about a 10-minute walk from Dover town center.

Dover moves to meet housing demand

In 2020, the Dover City Council and Town Planning Council passed provisions to incentivize developers by allowing greater density if affordable HUD restricted rental units are included in a development.

Christopher Parker, deputy city manager and director of planning and strategic initiatives, said there is great promise to see a developer reap the benefits of the policy, as demand for housing and especially affordable housing continues to grow. to augment.

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“The mix of units that Mr. Baker and his team are proposing is very positive,” Parker said. “Housing diversity is important on many levels, and staff are very happy to see this element of the plan. Dover can only benefit from these additional units, and the fact that there are some aimed at meeting the need for affordable housing is all the more important. “

The project is still in the early stages of the planning process and will be submitted to the city’s technical review committee on August 12, when it begins a thorough review before moving to planning board review.

“The demand for housing in Dover continues to grow and Dover is a much sought after community,” said Baker. “This property had not been fully appreciated and no one has really done anything with it in a while. We saw a large plot in a great location and thought it would be a perfect place to add more accommodation to the community.”


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