RE/CON Briefs

Nashua mayor axes Wal-Mart foes

Mayor Bernie Streeter is replacing the two leaders of the Nashua Conservation Commission, both of whom fought against construction of a Wal-Mart Superstore on Amherst Street. He has renominated a commissioner who backed the idea.

Streeter has tapped longtime member Linda Bretz, who supported the retail giant’s disputed proposal, to sit on the board for another three years.

Kathryn Nelson, the board’s chairwoman who opposed the plan, resigned from her position the day after the vote.

Streeter said he decided to replace vice chairwoman Jacqueline Trainer, who also voted against the Wal-Mart plan, because he wanted “fresh air” on the board.

“A board like that needs some fresh air occasionally,” said Streeter, denying that there was any connection to the deliberations about Wal-Mart. “How they voted, frankly, is not my concern.”

The terms of Nelson, Trainer and Bretz all expired at the end of 2004.

The commission last month voted 4-3 after months of negotiations with a developer to give a favorable recommendation to Wal-Mart’s plan for a 186,000-square-foot store in place of Building 19. The commission is an advisory panel to the Zoning Board of Adjustment and does not have the power to block proposals.

Brewery site for sale in Portsmouth

Grubb & Ellis Coldstream Real Estate Advisers is holding a sealed bid auction to sell the four buildings what make up the former Frank Jones Brewery in Portsmouth – one of the last vacant redevelopment properties in the city.

The four-building complex totals 100,000 square feet on 2.7 acres. Two of the buildings have already been converted into office space. The other two, which consist of the brewhouse and the fermentation building, are vacant and ready to be redeveloped.

Julie Porter, adviser for Grubb & Ellis, told Foster’s Daily Democrat, “There’s really not a large site like this in Portsmouth left for redevelopment,” she said.

The property is assessed at $2,810,500.

Seacoast Newspapers plan Pease move

Seacoast Newspapers, parent company of the Portsmouth Herald, has unveiled plans for a new two-story 65,000-square-foot building at Pease International Tradeport.

Construction on the 10-acre parcel on New Hampshire Avenue could begin in March. If the project goes ahead as scheduled, some of company’s operations could begin moving to Pease as early as the summer of 2006.

The company’s plans include selling its Stratham property – a 28,833-square-foot facility on 7.9 acres – and the Maplewood Avenue property in Portsmouth, a 21,600-square-foot structure on 2.3 acres.

Zoning change OKd in Atkinson

Developer Peter Lewis’s plan to build a housing complex for people 55 and older has received the Atkinson Planning Board’s approval for a proposed zoning amendment that would clear the way for tall buildings with multiple units to be constructed around the golf course at the Atkinson Country Club.

The amendment next goes to town meeting voters on March 8.

Current zoning laws permit buildings up to 35 feet high in that district. Lewis’ buildings would be up to 55 feet high and have up to 40 units per building.

$9m OKd for Manchester highway project

Work on an expected four-year project to expand the interchange at Granite Street and Interstate 293 in Manchester could begin in early spring following approval of a $9.1 million contract by the Executive Council.

The project is the first phase of a three-part project that will move utilities and the highway slightly west, add new overpasses and a new Granite Street bridge.

Manchester to buy former Jac Pac plant

Manchester city officials have signed papers to buy the former Jac Pac meat processing plant for $3 million, and are eyeing a variety of possible uses for the 17-acre site.

Any redevelopment of the riverfront property would complement a planned ballpark for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats minor league baseball team, hotel and condominium complex, officials said.

“This area is going to be prime opportunity for businesses, and we’re going to have to see who is interested in this project,” George Copadis of the Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority told WMUR-TV.

“The city has said we’d be foolish not to look at this property to keep the momentum and the interest in development in the city going,” Mayor Robert Baines said.

A study committee will look at the best use for the property along the Merrimack River, including residential or retail space.

Categories: News