By Alex Malm
At the most recent Londonderry Heritage Commission meeting, on Thursday, Feb. 23, the commission once again reviewed an application for a site plan for the proposed development of a 264 dwelling unit multi-family residential development with associated parking and amenities at Governor Bell Drive and Michels Way, which is known as the Woodmont Commons.
Mark Seck, Vice President of Development from Wood Partners East Acquisitions, LLC, explained previously that in addition to just being developers, they are also the general contractor, and property manager of their projects in New England, which he says is important.
Seck said they would have a mix of units ranging from one bedroom to three bedroom units. It will also feature a state-of-the-art fitness center, resident lounges, tech lounge, and a courtyard.
He said they would have 338 parking spaces and private garage bays for a total of 400 parking spaces.
“We have ample onsite parking along with bike storage,” said Seck.
Seck stated they will also have ample electric vehicle parking spaces, on surface parking, and in the garage. He also noted they would have a closed drainage system and they would have municipal water and sewer for the complex.
One of the concerns expressed during the previous meeting by the commission was what materials they would be using on the exterior of the buildings.
Town Council Liaison, Jim Butler, said that without mixing the materials that it starts to become stale.
He noted he would like to see different materials used, along with things like shutters. Butler said it provides for a “soft feeling” to the overall complex.
“We’re trying to get a design that is soft,” said Butler.
One of the proposed changes presented compared to the original design is to have connections from the buildings to Michels Way. Originally there weren’t any connections from the buildings to the road.
“I think the stairs are a good add on Michels Way,” Butler said.
Seck said they were looking to match the residential buildings surrounding the proposed buildings.
“It more needs to tie to the materials used on the residential buildings,” Seck said.
In terms of the overall design, one of the points of discussion was whether or not the buildings facing Governor Bell Drive and Michels Way should have stone or brick.
Members of the commission felt that it should have stone facing the roads. Seck, however, said the economics for the project were tight, which is why they aren’t proposing to use stone on all the buildings.
“We thought this was a big give,” Seck said.
Vice Chair, Art Rugg, said he thought the stones made it look “more classier.”
“I like the stone,” Rugg said.
Heritage Commission Chair, Krystopher Kenney, said he also thought it made sense to have stone facing the roads.
“There’s going to be a lot of traffic going through these roads,” Kenney said.
Seck explained they also received comments from the Conservation Commission and they will be making edits before they submit their final plans to the Planning Board.
Overall, the Commission thought there was progress compared to the original design.
“I think we made some really good strides here,” said Butler.
The Heritage Commission ultimately approved recommending the design to the Planning Board pending review of the material samples and it was recommended that the three additional buildings on Governor Bell Drive and Michels Way were faced with stone as well.
The next Heritage Commission meeting is slated to take place on March 23 at 7 p.m.