546 Units Pitched in Nashua

A conceptual rendering showing Blaylock Holdings’ proposed multifamily development on Veterans Memorial Parkway in Nashua. Image courtesy of Blaylock Holdings

A long-contaminated site could be poised to get its second act under a plan scheduled for review by Nashua officials on March 21. 

An LLC, Blaylock Holdings, that’s registered to the same address as Nashua developer Etchstone Properties hopes to build 546 apartments and condominiums at the former Mowhawk Tannery site and adjacent industrial parcels that bring the development up to nearly 41 acres. The site, which is accessed via Veterans Memorial Parkway, is only a short drive to the city’s two hospitals and other major employers. 

The tannery operated on the 30.5-acre site on the Nashua River from 1924 to 1984, according to a history of the property posted on the city website, and when it closed left tens of thousands of cubic yards of contaminated sludge and other environmental problems. The site was eventually designated “Superfund” site by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. 

The EPA and Blaylock inked a deal in 2020 to seal the contaminated sludge and soil in a concrete box covered with an impermeable cap designed to withstand an incredibly severe flood. The project cost would total $14.37 million, including $3.37 million in developer equity with the remainder being provided by federal and local dollars. 

According to a conceptual plan shown to residents in March of last year, Blaylock wants to distribute 230 apartments across four 4-story buildings and 316 condos among five similar buildings on the non-contaminated part of the site, and donate a large portion of the land to the city as permanent open space along with a bridge across the Nashua River to the city’s Mine Falls Park recreation area. A public kayak launch would also be included in the project. 

A January 2023 presentation to the city Board of Alderman shows construction of the apartments would be spread between 2025 and early 2028, with the condominium construction running from 2025 through 2030. 

The March presentation indicated that Blaylock was planning to include 38 affordable apartments in its development, but pay $2.37 million to the city in lieu of designating 64 condos as affordable units. The presentation notes that dollar figure was being substantially lowered due to Blaylock’s spending on cleaning up the property.