West Lebanon landlord reduces scale of planned housing project

Two apartment buildings on Maple Street in West Lebanon, N.H., photographed on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, which were purchased by Growth Cap Management owner Robert Parpinelli in November 2022 with plans to renovate them and rent out the apartments at a higher rate. Parpinelli now hopes further develop the property. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Two apartment buildings on Maple Street in West Lebanon, N.H., photographed on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, which were purchased by Growth Cap Management owner Robert Parpinelli in November 2022 with plans to renovate them and rent out the apartments at a higher rate. Parpinelli now hopes further develop the property. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus

By PATRICK ADRIAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 02-11-2024 9:25 PM

Modified: 02-15-2024 10:06 AM


LEBANON — The owner of a multi-family complex in a residential neighborhood said this week that he no longer plans to build an additional 30-unit apartment building on the property but will instead look to build a rental home for a single family.

The Lebanon Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Monday to consider a proposed subdivision of 22 Maple St., a 1-acre parcel in West Lebanon that houses two apartment buildings with a combined 14 units.

Growth Cap Management, a Merrimack, N.H. based real estate company, purchased the property in 2022 from West Lebanon-based Chiplin Enterprises for $1.28 million, according to city property records.

Robert Parpinelli, who owns Growth Cap Management, said he hopes to build a single-family rental home on the new subdivision, which would be a .3-acre lot with public water and sewer access.

Parpinelli was initially interested in constructing a 30-unit apartment building, in addition renovating to the existing Maple Street apartments, according to a 2022 Valley News story. But in a phone interview on Friday, Parpinelli said that a large residential project in that location would not comply with city zoning rules.

“It’s just not suitable for apartments,” Parpinelli said.

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The 14 existing apartments are all leased, including four that are rented by tenants who were living there when the property changed hands, Parpinelli said.

After the sale, tenants received an eviction notice, telling them to vacate to allow for the property to be renovated. Residents were told they would be able to renew their leases after the renovation, though the rents would be increasing.

Randy Purtteman, an Army veteran, has rented an apartment at 22 Maple St. for 12 years, and was one of the few tenants to continue a lease.

Parpinelli “has been very responsive and been more than willing to take care of his tenants,” Purtteman said in a phone interview on Friday.

While rents increased under Parpinelli’s ownership — from $900 to $1,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to around $1,400 or $1,500 at present, depending on size — Purtteman said that Parpinelli also has invested in renovations, from repainting the exterior building, adding laundry facilities and bringing the residences up to safety codes.

The cost for the Maple Street apartments still sits below the $2,081 a month median rent for two-bedroom apartment in Grafton County, where Lebanon is, according to a study last year by New Hampshire Housing, an affordable housing agency. Grafton County’s rate was 18% higher than the statewide average, the study found.

Parpinelli also installed a wheelchair ramp and lighting outside the building, said Purtteman, who has Parkinson’s disease and has limited mobility.

Monday’s hearing may also include a discussion of two apartment units that, according to city planning staff, had been built without city approval.

Parpinelli “didn’t have a clue about that (issue) when he bought the property,” said Wayne McCutcheon, a surveyor from Claremont who is assisting in the subdivision plan.

Parpinelli said the extra units first came to his attention when seeing the property’s tax card, which only identified 12 apartments on the property instead of 14.

To rectify the discrepancy, Parpinelli will need a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment, as well as the Planning Board’s approval of a revised site plan, Deputy Planning and Development Director Tim Corwin said in an email on Friday.

The Planning Board will meet on Monday at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

Patrick Adrian may be reached at padrian@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.