Published DateMEREDITH — The New Hampshire Music Festival announced this week that it completed the sale of its Center Harbor property, the former site of the Red Hill Inn, in December.
They buyer was not announced but records at the Belknap County Registry of Deeds indicate the new owner is ERB College Road LLC, a company owned by Exeter developers Elliott R. and Nancy Berkowitz.
The Music Festival purchased the property not only the serve as its headquarters but to host the construction of a concert theater. Last year, in the face of the effects of the lingering 2008 recession, the Festival instead reached agreement with Plymouth State University to have the college continue to host concerts at the Silver Center for the Arts and the Red Hill Inn property was put up for sale.
According to the registry, Berkowitz paid $525,000 for it.
Berkowitz was born in Brooklyn and spent 15 years with the narcotics division of the New York City Police Department. Today, he works with Nancy at their Pairpoint Group real estate development firm. They moved to New Hampshire in the early 1980s and have lived in Hampton Falls for 18 years.
The couple began acquiring property in downtown Exeter in 2004 and are credited with contributing to the revitalization of that town's center district.
Berkowitz said yesterday that, "we have no definite plans for the property at this time." He said that dumpsters are on-site and "we're cleaning it up and patching leaks" to forestall any further deterioration of the buildings. He said that they intend to survey the property.
To complete the sale, the Music Festival board worked with the Meredith Village Savings Bank, as well as Susan Bradley of Coldwell Banker. Festival Board Chairman Dick Hanaway credits Meredith Village Savings Bank for being a strong partner to the Music Festival through the process. "As a local business and bank, Meredith Village Savings worked hard to make this go smoothly for us. We are very thankful for their support and their continued investment in the community," Hanaway said.
The Festival, which is in its 61st year, has refocused its mission, having renewed an alliance with PSU to offer a central and accessible musical venue. Part of its approach is finding innovative ways to share music with audiences across New Hampshire.
"As we continue the Festival's tradition of great music, we are focused on new opportunities while honoring our past," said Hanaway. "The sale of the property allows the Festival to become more nimble and flexible as we create a workable model that responds to the challenges that organizations like ours have experienced in recent years."
This year, the Festival welcomes Donato Cabrera, resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, as its sixth music director and conductor. For more information about our season, which starts July 6, 2013, visit www.nhmf.org or call 603-279-3300.
- 30 -