Cook on Concord
A lot of things ramped up in January. There were obvious changes in Manchester, new leadership at the Business & Industry Association, a new governor with an apparent new work ethic, rumors of gambling and reminders of the importance of our community technical college system. Manchester continues to be a changing and strengthening place. One of last year’s sad events, the closing of the Jac Pac facility which put 500 or so workers on the street, became an opportunity in 2005. The city completed the acquisition of the 17-acre parcel along the Merrimack River where Jac Pac had operated, and there were reports that the vast majority of workers had been re-employed. Immediately south of the land where the Fisher Cats baseball stadium is being built, along with a hotel and condominiums, control of the Jac Pac site gives Manchester the opportunity to plan and market the land appropriately for maximum economic development, if the city is smart enough to avail itself of that opportunity. At the same time, at the corner of Bridge and Elm Streets, long vacant, the Manchester Place apartment complex and parking garage has risen nine stories high. This will bring the occupants of the 230 high-end apartments into downtown for breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening activities and will bring additional residential vitality to the center of the city which has already seen new restaurants, entertainment sites and activities.