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Service Credit Union has plans for Nashua location

Union Leader Correspondent

July 07. 2013 8:18PM

NASHUA — City planners this week will review a proposal to construct a new credit union at a former retail plaza along Amherst Street.

Service Credit Union, based in Portsmouth, has filed plans with the city to build a bank and drive-through facility at the previous Central Realty Plaza.The plaza, which was sold at a foreclosure auction earlier this year, is located at 337 Amherst St. and was formerly home to Chen Yang Li restaurant and other retail shops.

Only a portion of the two-acre property near Cannongate condominiums will be developed, according to plans on file at Nashua City Hall.

"The proposal is to demolish the existing 17,650-square-feet building and construct a new 8,000-square-feet bank with three drive-through lanes," said Matt Taylor, deputy planning manager.

In a staff memo to the Nashua City Planning Board, Taylor said the applicant, Keenan and Associates, Inc., has several proposed improvements to the site.

Conceptual plans have already been developed, which include the two-story credit union with a drive-through, 61 parking spaces, upgraded landscaping and drainage improvements.

Currently, nearly 85 percent of the lot is paved, however the project includes a proposed reduction in building size and the removal of several areas of pavement, according to Taylor.

"Even with the reduction in pavement, the proposed parking lot, with 61 spaces, exceeds the maximum allowed by (ordinance)," Taylor said in the memo, adding a new sidewalk is expected to be constructed along Amherst Street as part of the project.

Service Credit Union, which was founded in 1957, has more than 20 branches throughout New Hampshire, including facilities in Concord, Bedford, Derry, Hudson and Manchester. According to its website, it was originally created to serve military and civilian employees at Pease Air Force Base.

Currently, Service Credit Union provides financial services to more than 165,000 members, according to the website.

The proposed credit union in Nashua is expected to be open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday until 1 p.m.

"The building has a modern design similar to many other structures on Amherst Street," said Taylor. "City staff reviewed the plans and had no objections or concerns."

According to the proposed plans, numerous large windows are being recommended for the structure. Central Realty Plaza closed in March, much to the dismay of several business owners housed inside the plaza. The Turquoise Shop has since relocated to a different site on Amherst Street, and other businesses, including Creative Cutters and Lily Nail, have also moved.Chen Yang Li has not yet announced its plans for possibly relocating elsewhere in the Gate City.

Thursday's planning board meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Nashua City Hall. Also on the agenda is a proposal to construct nearly 40 homes in one of the last undeveloped pieces of property in southwest Nashua.

A 30-acre parcel that once operated as a dairy farm could soon be home to 37 new houses if the planning board approves the new plan for Monis Farm Estates at 4 Searles Road.

The new housing project has already been supported by the Conservation Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

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