No Closing Again On Sale of Former Laconia State School as Developer Works On Financing

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Paula Tracy photo

The Spaulding Building at the former Laconia State School.


LACONIA – There will be no closing on the sale of the former Laconia State School Wednesday as the governor and Executive Council were expecting.

A spokesman for the developer said they are asking “a little more time to lock in the financing,” for the $21.5 million offer to buy the 220 acres on Parade Road.

On Dec. 21, 2022, the state’s Executive Council voted 3-2 to enter a purchase and sales agreement to sell property to Legacy at Laconia LLC. Voting to oppose the sale were Executive Councilors Ted Gatsas, R-Manchester, and David Wheeler, R-Milford.

Three weeks ago, after repeated delays in the closing were granted, Commissioner of Administrative Services Charlie Arlinghaus told Gov. Chris Sununu and members of the council that the plan was to close on the deal the afternoon of March 13 in Manchester.

Scott Tranchemontagne, spokesman for the developer, said Tuesday night “the closing is not happening tomorrow.  The project has requested a little more time to lock in the financing. We are very pleased to be in agreement with the State on all title issues.  Both parties worked diligently, right up until last Friday, when the final issue was resolved.

“We have proposed closing during the first week of April so our lender can complete its processes, some of which could not happen until we reached this point.”

Legacy at Laconia has an ambitious plan to reuse the property and make it into a mixture of residential units, a hotel, conference center and retail spaces.

Tranchemontagne said in an email “we are looking forward to starting soon on this transformative project, which will provide more than 1,200 new homes to help address New Hampshire’s housing crisis, including 320 workforce apartments, along with a barrier-free hotel and conference center, nearly 200 senior living units, exciting new retail and restaurants and a great deal of space for community events.”

There is a request on the council table for the meeting on Wednesday to approve a lease between Legacy at Laconia LLC, the developer, and the state for two years of the Dwinell Building for about $206,000 to continue to operate the E-911 dispatch center and one for Lakes Region Fire Mutual Aid. 

Executive Councilor Joe Kenney said last Friday afternoon that he was excited when he received a copy of the meeting agenda for March 13. “It gives me a positive sense we are moving to finalize this.”

He said the lease is what he was looking for because it is “the first step” needed before closing.

If it was not there, he said it was not likely that the deal was going to go forward, as many have theorized, due to the length of time it has taken for parties to come to the table.

Paula Tracy is a senior writer at, having worked as a reporter in New Hampshire for 30 years.

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