April 25, 2024

State delays sale of Laconia property  – New Hampshire Bulletin

The state has delayed its closing on a $21.5 million sale of the former Laconia State School property a second time, but the deal remains on track, said Commissioner Charlie Arlinghaus of the state Department of Administrative Services. 

While there have been concerns about the ability of the development team to see the sale through, Arlinghaus said it is the state that needs more time in order to resolve a right-of-way issue on the property. 

Arlinghaus said he hopes the closing, originally planned for September and then moved to Jan. 17, will happen at the end of the month or in February at the latest. 

The delay involves a public road across the property that the buyers want to make private as part of the sale. To achieve that, the Laconia City Council must vote to officially give up access to the road following a Jan. 22 public hearing. 

The city’s public works director has suggested the council vote to do so, according to the council’s most recent meeting minutes.

The buyers have said they plan to build 1,260 housing units, 320 of them workforce housing, a 200-room hotel, and 590 independent- and assisted-living units. 

Initial plans included nearly 1,800 housing units.

State and Laconia city officials have raised questions about the woman leading the “Legacy at Laconia” project, Robynne Alexander, because she has never developed such a large project and has been sued multiple times by investors. She also has a history of tax liens.

The state has attempted to sell the 220-acre property overlooking lakes Winnipesaukee and Opechee for more than a decade but struggled to find a buyer willing to invest potentially millions in removing dilapidated buildings and installing water and septic systems. 

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