Bristol’s Historic Mills: A Public-Private EffortOctober 5, 2021 9:00 am
Eugene Ianiciello was looking for a project in his own backyard. As someone who had been coming to Newfound Lake since he was a kid and made Bristol home in his 20s, Ianiciello had close ties with the community. He saw revitalization efforts in Central Square as a big opportunity, not just as a developer, but for all of Bristol.
Alongwith Jeff Goodrum, Russ Hertrich, and the Town of Bristol, Ianiciello has overseen the complete renovation of 16 and 20 Central Square, converting them to condominiums for rent. The project not only provides much needed housing for the area’s workforce, but also makes the Central Square downtown area a true live-work-play opportunity for Bristol.
Old Buildings to New Apartments
Converting older buildings that were once used for commercial and industrial purposes can be labor intensive projects, especially if the buildings are historic and in poor condition. Ianiciello said a number of people advised him to simply knock the buildings down and start over. But because of the historic nature of the buildings and the impact it would have to the look and feel of Bristol’s downtown, Ianiciello and the team opted for a complete renovation.
“We gutted them to the bare bones,” said Ianiciello.
The project includes converting the former mill buildings to one- and two-bedroom apartments. They include shared laundry facilities, repointed brick features and fireplaces, and even some apartments with decks overlooking the Newfound River. Construction on 16 Central Square is complete and the 20 Central Square project is expected to be finished in the coming months.
Part of a Larger Plan
Today, the buildings are just one piece of Bristol’s downtown revitalization success. Upgrades and beautification in Central Square has improved the location for existing businesses and brought in new business as well. Investments in the riverside park and trails nearby are an added amenity for anyone living downtown.
“The town has been looking for ways to build stronger relationships with local businesses and developers in recent years and the historic mill project in Central Square is a great example of what can come of those efforts,” said Bristol Town Administrator Nicholas Coates.
One benefit Ianiciello and the redevelopment team utilized is New Hampshire’s 79-E Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive, which provides tax benefits for the redevelopment of buildings in downtown areas, particularly buildings with historic significance. These buildings are believed to have been built in the 1880s when they were used as a granary and a masonry manufacturing building.
“The program was a blessing and it was brought to my attention by the town,” said Ianiciello. “It really helps the developer and should make more people want to start projects.”
For more information about the Central Square revitalization project and redevelopment opportunities in Bristol, contact the Town Administrator’s Office at (603) 744-3354 or visit the contact page.
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