The Hippo


Dec 13, 2019








A rendering of Woodmont Commons in Londonderry. Courtesy image.

Under construction
Major developments getting started in 2017

By Ryan Lessard

 Contractors will be busy next year as a number of major development projects — some that have been in the planning stages for years — get underway.

One of the most significant projects is the Woodmont Commons development in Londonderry. The $1 billion project will be constructed in phases, starting in spring 2017 with a 62-acre parcel that will include 260 rental units and townhouses, 500,000 square feet of retail, office and restaurant space and a 135-room  hotel. The first building is expected to be an 11,000-square-foot brewery, where Londonderry’s 603 Brewery will transplant its operation. 
“Their plan is, I believe, for the brewery to opened by the end of 2017,” said Londonderry Planning Director Colleen Mailloux.
She said the whole first phase will take about two to three years to complete.
A couple of other developments in Londonderry near the airport are also underway. The largest is a one-million-square-foot F.W. Webb distribution center expected to open by next fall. Also likely to open before the end of next year is an EFI inkjet printer factory that will employ an estimated 400 people. 
Meanwhile, the continuing expansion of the Southern New Hampshire University campus in Manchester and Hooksett will include at least three new buildings opening next year. The school is expected to open the Gustafson Welcome Center — which will house its admissions department and career and institutional advancement centers — in January 2017, according to an SNHU spokesperson. 
Later in the fall, a new athletic complex will be complete, as will a new apartment-style dorm. A new engineering building is also in the works. It received approval from the planning board this past fall but is still in the planning stages.
In Bedford, a second Murphy’s Taproom location will be built and opened by April 2017, according to owner Keith Murphy.
The biggest development in Bedford is the Market and Main project off South River Road (at the former Macy’s site). Assistant Planning Director Mark Connors said he expects construction to start early next year. Developers will likely start with the cinema and retail properties at the center and work their way outward from there for some of the mixed-use buildings for office space and a hotel. The first buildings might be ready by 2017, but the whole project won’t be done until 2018.
At the abutting former Wayfarer Inn site, where Whole Foods was recently built, developers will be working on construction for a 150-unit apartment building along the waterway. Connors expects construction for that won’t be complete until 2018.
In the spring, developer Joe Faro will break ground on a major undertaking in Salem with the first phase of a Tuscan Village. Faro had originally planned to create a walkable, mixed-use village in a 50-acre parcel broken off the Rockingham Park racetrack property. But after Rockingham put the rest of the property up for sale, Faro bought the remaining 120 acres.
According to Salem Planning Director Ross Moldoff, the original 50-acre parcel is still in the first phase of development.
“That plan ended up changing,” Moldoff said, referring to the 50-acre site. 
Construction is expected to begin with a 35,000-square-foot Ford dealership, which already got board approval, in the spring, followed by some residential property. Moldoff said Faro plans to start with apartment buildings (256 units, four buildings) and then 100 townhouses
That project will be followed by an 80,000-square-foot Market Basket. After that, Moldoff said, Faro plans to construct about 80,000 square feet of retail property. Moldoff expects the first phase will take about a year to 18 months to complete.
The changes to the Phase 1 area will make it more car-friendly and less walkable. Moldoff said that while developers are still in the concept phase for the remaining 120 acres, that’s where he expects the spirit of the original plan to come to fruition. 
“That’s going to be the walkable area, town-center style development,” Moldoff said.
In Manchester, two hotels will be under construction. A Tru by Hilton and a Marriott Residence Inn will be breaking ground by second quarter next year, according to the projects’ respective developers, Peter Flotz and Dick Anagnost. Flotz said the Tru will take about 14 months to get built, and Anagnost said the Residence Inn will take about 16 months. 

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