Now, this landmark building has been sold to developers, who intend to use it as ground zero for the fight against drugs in the city.
Veteran real estate developer Dick Anagnost said he is joining the war on drugs.
“We’re here to announce that we are joining in with the fight against the epidemic facing our city,” said Anagnost.
Anagnost joined other city leaders to announce his purchase of the old Hoitt’s Furniture building.
The plan is to turn the 37,000 square-foot facility on the corner of Valley and Wilson streets into a multi-tiered rehab center for recovery services, like Hope for New Hampshire, as well as other organizations.
“We’re going to be opening up additional space in the building to other nonprofits. That way, we can have supportive services,” said Anagnost. “All of these organizations that can come together in one place to support and fight this epidemic.”
Anagnost’s business partner, Andy Crews, is married to Melissa Crews, the board chair for Hope for New Hampshire.
Melissa Crews became emotional as she described additional plans to provide low-cost housing for those in treatment.
“I just love the feeling of this building, and it’s amazing. And having the upper two floors to expand some affordable recovery housing,” said Melissa Crews.
As with any good real estate venture, Anagnost says location was key.
“We’re one block east of the police station. We are in walking distance to every service you can imagine,” said Anagnost. “May it be the hospital, may it be the Farnum Center, may it be the Walgreens, may it be the grocery or whatever anyone else might need in this location.”
Members of the Longo family, which owned Hoitt’s for generations, said they are proud the building, which served Manchester’s retail needs for more than 60 years, will now be used to help people now in need of overcoming addiction.
“We, as a family, could not be happier,” said Brian Longo, the former president of Hoitt’s Furniture.
Anagnost said the hope is to get the recovery center open in the next few months.