PETERBOROUGH — A Keene periodontics and dental-care provider is moving ahead with plans to open a practice in Peterborough after purchasing a trio of vacant properties in town last month.
Monadnock Perio & Implant Center hopes to begin construction later this month on its approved 104–108 Grove St. location, a multi-story building that will also include three apartment units, according to owner Dr. Tae Kwon.
A real estate company associated with the dental business, 106 Grove St LLC acquired the site Dec. 11 for $110,000, according to property records.
Kwon opened Monadnock Perio & Implant Center at 819 Court St. in May 2017 after having worked part time in the Keene area for about five years.
The practice, which offers treatment for gum disease and also performs dental implants, has since quadrupled its initial staff of four, he said. It also prioritizes educating patients on healthy gum management, according to Kwon.
“I don’t want them to spend too much time in dental care,” he said Tuesday. “The key to that is patient education.”
Kwon and his wife, Dr. Jihae Yang, a dentist at Horizon Dental Associates in Brattleboro, have discussed opening a practice in Peterborough for the past five years, he said. The move “made sense,” he said, because Monadnock Perio & Implant Center draws patients from that area as well as from Nashua and central Massachusetts.
In December, the Peterborough Planning Board approved its proposal for a three-story building at 104–108 Grove St. that will include a 2,000-square-foot dental practice on the first floor.
Kwon and Dr. Howard Yen, Monadnock Perio & Implant Center’s other periodontist, plan to split time at the Peterborough location. That practice will initially be open only one or two days each week and comprise two exam rooms, Kwon said, but it may expand to five rooms.
Yang, his wife, may also open a general dentistry practice in the building, though Kwon said the couple has not yet made any formal decisions.
The proposal the planning board approved last month also includes 17 parking spaces and a pair of 1,000-square-foot apartments on the second floor, plus a similarly sized unit on the third floor. The apartments — which Kwon hopes will help address the shortage of local housing that experts say has driven up rental rates — will be owned by 106 Grove St LLC, with an outside Realtor responsible for identifying tenants, he said.
Hillsborough County had a rental vacancy rate of 2.3 percent last year, according to a report from the independent state agency N.H. Housing. The same report found that the median monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in a non-urban swath of the county that includes Peterborough rose in 2020 — to $1,113 — for the fourth consecutive year.
Kwon did not have an estimate Tuesday for how much tenants will pay in rent.
“It’s not going to make [the housing situation] worse,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll help a little bit.”
Construction on the building is expected to begin later this month and is projected to take between six and eight months, Kwon said. He expressed hope that the Peterborough practice will be ready for patients this summer, adding that he feels “very blessed” for the local support Monadnock Perio & Implant Center has received since opening.