$65M Mixed-Use Dover Landing Project in New Hampshire Moves Forward

Dickinson Development Corp.'s Dover Landing, an upscale mixed-use project that will sit along the Cocheco River in Dover, N.H., has been given the thumbs-up on the revised plans for the $65 million endeavor.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Dickinson Development Corp.’s Dover Landing, an upscale mixed-use project that will sit along the Cocheco River in Dover, N.H., has just moved one big step closer to reality. The Cocheco Waterfront Development Committee recently gave the real estate company an undisputed thumbs-up on the revised plans for the $65 million endeavor.

It’s been a longtime coming. It was in 2006 when Dickinson, having responded to a request for proposal from the City of Dover, was selected as the preferred developer for the redevelopment of what was then a blighted site near downtown Dover. Several amendments and refinements later, a plan for 108 residential units and office and retail space in a lifestyle concept is finally in place. As company president Mark Dickinson noted, “Successful development is all about compromise and patience.”

The initial phase of Dover Landing will include a two-story structure featuring ground-level retail space topped by one floor of office space, for a total of 16,000 square feet of commercial offerings. Plans also include three adjacent buildings featuring live/work units atop additional office or retail space. Dickinson believes the project’s premier location — it is directly linked to downtown via a nearly $5 million bridge that was built a few years ago — will serve as a magnet for the young and unencumbered seeking the carefree lifestyle of downtown living. With more jobs being created, more households are being formed. The State of New Hampshire added 2,300 jobs during the first quarter, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

New jobs combined with Dover’s relatively high median household income may be ingredients in the recipe for success for Dover Landing, and its residential segment in particular; multi-family development activity has not exactly been on the rise this year. In New Hampshire, building permits were authorized for just 62 units in the first quarter, compared to 286 in the first quarter of 2011, as per the HUD report.

Before construction can get underway on Dover Landing, Dickinson will have to complete a few more tasks. The developer is buying the project’s 21-acre site from the City for approximately $4.6 million in a transaction that is on track to close in late August, according to city documents. And with the Committee’s approval in hand and site and building design already underway, Dickinson anticipates wrapping up permitting early next year and commencing construction in mid-2013. The entire multi-phase development of Dover Landing is scheduled to reach completion in early 2016.