Nashua mulls leasing out parkway plot

NASHUA – What the state has bought, the city wants to give back – for a price.

A resolution sponsored by Mayor Donnalee Lozeau would lease land acquired for the Broad Street Parkway back to a local company.

The board of aldermen discussed the resolution during its last meeting in 2008, and then referred the legislation to the infrastructure and budget review committees to iron out details, including which account the money received would be placed.

In question is a parcel less than 2 acres that now provides parking in the Millyard. Before being bought by the state for the parkway, the property was owned by Riverside Properties of Nashua, Inc., 7 Pine St. Extension.

Riverside is the owner of P.M. MacKay Group, and the land sits near two buildings the company owns in the Millyard. One of the buildings houses Gallery One and spaces for a theater group and artists.

Under the proposed deal, the city would get $20,000 for the first year and $30,000 for the remaining four years of the lease.

While the parcel was acquired for the cross-city roadway, it lies in the path of only one of the two options now being considered. That option is the more expensive and probably the less favorable of the two, Lozeau said.

It made no sense for the city to hold onto the land when it could generate money through a lease and allow Riverside to expand its business, she said.

The resolution was referred to the two committees when Alderman-at-Large Fred Teeboom raised question about where the money from the lease would be spent.

Lozeau called the delay unnecessary, since federal and state requirements attached to land bought for the parkway stipulate the money can only be used for the design and construction of the roadway.

“We already have to put it in a special account. We know that. That was a string that was attached long ago,” she said.