Builder plans to mix affordable and luxury apartments in Milford

MILFORD – The last big undeveloped piece of land in east Milford could be developed into a four-building apartment complex.

Ron Dupont, owner of Red Oak Apartment Homes LLC, brought preliminary designs to the Milford Planning Board Feb. 18.

Located on Capron Road, off Nashua Street, the complex would have a mix of affordable and luxury units on 25 acres, he said, in four buildings located not far from two other large apartment complexes, now called Milford Trails and Eastern Trails, and formerly known as Woodland Heights and Laurel Hill.

If built, the complex would add 126 apartments to an area that already has 396 units.

Dupont purchased the older complexes several few years ago and acknowledged they didn’t have a stellar reputation in the past, but said he had turned them around after spending a lot of money on landscaping and other improvements.

Having a mix of high-end and affordable apartments has proven to be a good idea across the country, he said.

“That’s the way multi-family housing should be built,” Dupont said.

The plan is similar to one proposed last year by Green Bridge Properties of Manchester, but that plan offered 125 apartments that would all have been affordable and promised “green” technology including geothermal heat and solar power.

There was no mention of green technology in the latest plan, which calls for 90 affordable units in three buildings and 36 luxury apartments in one building.

The luxury apartments would rent for about $1,500, Dupont said, would be about 1,200 square feet and they would likely have granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, central air conditioning and in-unit washer/driers.

Prices would likely shift upward, he said, because “we are going into the most dynamic economy of my lifetime.”

The affordable units would start at $723 for a one-bedroom, including heat and hot water, with eligibility based on household income. The development would be built with low-income tax credits provided by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

Dupont also promised to be the complex’s manager, saying the previous managers of the two older complexes were in Massachusetts, and that didn’t work out well.

The new buildings would share the pool, tennis courts and other existing facilities with Milford Trails and Eastern Trails but otherwise the complexes would be separate. Plans also call for 36 car ports.

Joia Hughes, Red Oak’s development manager, told the board there would be an on-site service coordinator to help tenants meet their lease obligations.

No site plan has been offered yet. Planners were generally encouraging and had questions about design, amenities and traffic, particularly the prospect of adding more traffic to already busy Nashua Street.

The property, located between routes 101 and 101A, is in the town’s residence B district, which allows multi-family housing.

Board member Paul Amato told Dupont that with plenty of space on the site, he has “a unique opportunity. I hope you use it wisely.”

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@nashuatelegraph.