Bottom Line: Landmark Hanover commercial building sells for $6 million

  • John Lippman. Copyright (c) Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Business Writer
Published: 1/3/2021 11:17:16 AM
Modified: 1/4/2021 1:10:45 PM

A second wave of stimulus money finally is coming to aid small business. And if the second round is anything like the first, expect a scramble among local businesses in the Upper Valley to tap into the funds to help them through the tough months ahead.

Last week, President Donald Trump, after originally threatening to withhold his signature, signed into law a new bipartisan $900 billion stimulus package aimed at propping up the economy upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation is the second economic rescue program launched by the federal government, following the $2.2 trillion CARES Act enacted in March at the outset of the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 — or “CARES 2” as the act is dubbed — includes $285 billion earmarked for small business to extend the Paycheck Protection Program, $82 billion for schools and colleges, $70 billion for public health measures, $25 billion for rental assistance and $600 cash payments to eligible adults and children, and up to $300 per week in supplemental unemployment insurance.

The new act also provides $15 billion to the hard-hit venue industry, such as entertainment arenas, which have seen their business — which rely upon the gathering and close contact of people in crowds — wiped out due to the pandemic.

Since the legislation was passed only two weeks ago, estimates as to how much of the $900 billion will flow to New Hampshire and Vermont are preliminary and likely to change in the weeks and months ahead. And the draft estimates do not include the $285 billion allocated for small businesses because that amount will not be known until businesses apply for relief and the money is distributed.

But some early analysis provides a picture.

New Hampshire will receive about $2 billion from the federal government, the biggest chunk of which, $685 million, will be funneled to unemployment insurance, according to the offices of U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, citing an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

New Hampshire residents will also receive a total of $614 million in direct individual payments, while $259 million has been earmarked for education needs, $219 million for COVID-19 mitigation and vaccines, $200 million in rental assistance, $6 million for “relief” to airports, $5 million toward funeral benefits and $3 million to fisheries.

Vermont, although it it has only 46% of the population of New Hampshire, proportionally stands to gain more: a total of about $1.5 billion, or 75% of the amount the Granite State will receive, at least according to estimates cited by the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office based upon research by Federal Funds Information for States, a nonprofit that tracks the flow of federal funding to states.

The FFIS estimates report that the Green Mountain State’s stimulus package includes $471 million in supplemental unemployment insurance payments to Vermont residents, $307 million in direct individual payments, $211 million for COVID-19 mitigation and vaccines, $200 million in rental assistance, $161 million for education needs, $4 million for “airport improvements” and $903,000 in funeral benefits (there was no information about fisheries in Vermont).

For small businesses, CARES 2 will provide relief through two main sources: the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), according to Tracy Hutchins, executive director of the Upper Valley Business Alliance. Both programs this time are limited to companies with 300 or fewer employees.

To qualify for a PPP loan, a company must have experienced a 25% drop in sales in any quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in the prior year.

The loan amount is based upon the average monthly payroll for the past 12 months and cannot exceed $2 million.

Under EIDL, which targets businesses in low-income areas, recipients will receive a $10,000 grant if they experienced a 30% decline in sales in during any 8-week period between March 2 and December 31 compared to the same 8-week period in the prior year.

As before, small business seeking PPP loans will need to apply through their bank. Businesses seeking EIDL funds can apply online.

“This round (of CARES funding) is really geared to smaller business,” Hutchins said. “That was a criticism of PPP earlier in the year — that a lot of large businesses got the money and then the funds were all gone before the smaller businesses could access it.”

Hot property in Hanover

There may be several vacant storefronts along South Main Street in downtown Hanover, but you wouldn’t know it from the price of an eye-popping commercial property sale.

The Davison Block and Annex, whose retail tenants include Dirt Cowboy Cafe, Murphy’s on the Green, glassware maker Simon Pearce and Thai restaurant Tuk Tuk, has been sold for $6 million, according to broker William “Star” Johnson, who represented the buyers of the property.

Davison Block had been owned since the early 1900s by the Davison family and was the site of the original Nugget Theater, built in 1916 (hence the reason why the alley between the building and Dartmouth senior society Casque and Gauntlet is called Olde Nugget Alley).

The sale follows the death last spring of owner William H. Davison, scion of a well-known Hanover family and businessman who opened The Village Green restaurant in 1966, which later became Murphy’s.

The new owners are three Dartmouth alumni — Rick Kleeman (’85), Jonathan Paul (’86, Tuck ’90) and Jonathan Livadas (’09) — who work separately in the real estate industry but banded together to acquire the Davison Block as a personal investment.

As only the second owners of the building in more than a century, Livadas said the partnership is well aware of the legacy they are inheriting in their acquisition and they intend to respect the building’s place in the community.

“This is a generational asset. We plan to own this building for a very, very long time” said Livadas, who lived in one of the apartments above the stores in the Davison Block during his sophomore year. “We cherished our time in Hanover and want to continue to see the area thrive.”

Livadas said that despite the savaging by the pandemic on local businesses, “all the tenants are doing well” and the partners aren’t looking to shake things up other than to improve the property.

“We’ll repoint the brick and facade, work with the tenants on the storefronts, generally spend some money to clean it up a little bit. We don’t want to change anything,” he said.

In addition to the street-level businesses, the three-floor, 30,000-square foot building is home on the second floor to Left Bank Books (which also earlier this year was sold by longtime owner Nancy Cressman to Lyme poet and Dartmouth writing instructor Rena Mosteirin) and 15 apartments, traditionally rented to Dartmouth students.

Hanover town records show the building currently assessed at $3.8 million.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.

Correction

The late William Davison opened The Village Green restaur ant in the Davison Block in downtown Hanover in 1966. An earlier version of this column incorrectly reported when the restaurant, which later became Murphy’s on the Green, opened.




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