MANCHESTER — Officials say Phase 1 of the city’s first addiction recovery center is on track to be operational at the former Hoitt furniture building on Wilson Street by late October.
“HOPE for NH Recovery is still on target to open by the end of next month,” developer Dick Anagnost said Monday in an update on the project given to members of the Special Committee on Alcohol, Drugs and Youth Services.
“The building is moving forward,” said Board of Aldermen Chairman Pat Long. “It is going to be very beneficial to the city.”
Last fall, Anagnost, Andy Crews, president and CEO of AutoFair and Melissa Crews, chairman of the board of directors of HOPE for NH Recovery, announced plans to purchase the building at 267 Wilson St., with the goal of putting multiple services for recovering addicts under one roof.
The first floor of the 37,000-square-foot building will become the new home of HOPE for NH Recovery, which will occupy 9,158 square feet, leaving an additional 2,624 square feet on the first floor for additional occupants.
“This will be the recovery center, which will be open 24/7,” said Anagnost.
Anagnost said he has had conversations with Elliot Hospital to provide on-site medical care.
“We should reach the end of Phase 1 by mid-October to late October,” said Anagnost. “One hundred percent of the entire HOPE space should be open by the end of the year, but operational by the end of next month.”
Families in Transition is expected to occupy the second floor, with construction anticipated to begin within the next month. Anagnost said construction is also anticipated to begin in late October on the fourth floor.
“We have an agreement in principle with Manchester Mental Health for the fourth floor,” said Anagnost. He anticipates construction on both the second and fourth floors to last about four months. Anagnost is hopeful both floors will be ready for occupancy by late March.
On Monday Anagnost announced a change to plans for the third floor, involving a switch from an apartment model for use by Families in Transition’s intensive outpatient program to a congregate care model. The plan now calls for eight single-occupancy units with a congregate kitchen on the third floor, housing 12 single women.
Anagnost said the change could net additional state funds for the project.
“An RFP (request for proposal) came out from New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority for congregate care,” said Anagnost. “We could get $750,000 in funds if the city wins.”
The change requires Anagnost to go before the Zoning Board yet again seeking a permit, due to the change from apartments to congregate care at the site.
The city committed $300,000 in Community Improvement funds to the project last year. According to City Planner Leon LaFreniere, $129,450 of those funds have been expended thus far, with roughly $170,500 remaining. The money is used to pay for hard construction — “brick and mortar,” as LaFreniere put it — not operational costs.
“I’m very proud the city is a partner in this,” said Alderman at Large Dan O’Neil.
By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader