Mixed-Use Development Case Studies

Issues Addressed:
Affordable Housing Housing Costs Housing Options Multigenerational Sustainable Housing

Concord, NH

Concord has undertaken a series of visioning exercises to reimagine areas of the city. Many of these exercises include zoning for mixed-use developments similar to that in Downtown Concord. Bringing these visions into reality would require significant rezoning, including adoption of a draft form-based code, and ultimately piecemeal redevelopment A rendering of the mixed-use vision for Loudon Road in Concord. (Image via the Concord Monitor). 90 Mixed-Use Development by numerous property owners. In contrast, the city is also reviewing a plan for the mixed-use redevelopment of a large industrial site in the city’s Penacook village. The developers’ design includes market-rate and Workforce Housing in apartments and townhomes, as well as retail.
A rendering of the mixed-use vision for Loudon Road in Concord. (Image via the Concord Monitor).

Portwalk Place, Portsmouth, NH

Portwalk Place is a five-acre, 400,000 square foot redevelopment in downtown Portsmouth. The development includes 149 housing units, 50,000 square feet of retail space, and several hotels.
Portwalk Place, a mixed-use project in downtown Portsmouth. (Image via portwalkplace.com)

501 Main, Fairlee, VT

Fairlee, VT is a town of less than 1,000 people on the New Hampshire border. Since 2021, a small real estate developer has been working on a 10-unit development on the town’s Main Street, a mix of commercial uses and housing tucked between I-91 and the Connecticut River. The development will replace a vacant commercial building, and uses a state tax credit for downtown redevelopments. The developer has documented the process online, which provides useful insights into the financial and regulatory landscape for small mixed-use projects in small towns, including zoning rules that are out of scale with the existing built environment and lengthy review processes. The documentation also yields interesting insights on dealing with wastewater disposal through smart site planning and community septic, as well using shared parking strategies to meet zoning requirements.
Mixed-use construction underway on a constrained site on Main Street in Fairlee, VT. (Image via brickandmortar.substack.com)

Mashpee Commons, Mashpee, MA

In 1986, the owners of an aging strip mall on Cape Cod in Massachusetts held a design charrette with the community to determine a direction for the property. Since then, the developers of the site have been realizing their vision of a new mixed-use community following the traditional New England town style. The development currently contains 77 homes, with plans for additional residential development underway, though mired by controversy.
Mashpee Commons’ existing retail/office and 2022 plans for expansions to the neighborhood (Images via Mashpee Commons and capenews.com)