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Skateboard park plan draws criticism at Nashua hearing

NASHUA — Before aldermen even began deliberations on whether to relocate the city’s new skateboard park to Broad Street, city officials on Tuesday faced public opposition to the proposed location.

Last August, a skateboard park committee reviewed possible locations for a new David W. Deane Skateboard Park since the existing facility on Bridge Street is about to be demolished to pave the way for a major development project.

The relocation board ultimately recommended 44 Broad St. as the park’s new home, although the proposal must still be reviewed and authorized by the board of aldermen. The Broad Street site, which was previously taken by eminent domain as part of the Broad Street Parkway project, was formerly occupied by Mayhem Ink, Aidan James Salon, Wizard Cycles and Gregory J. Fine Flooring and Design.

Neal Barrett, a commercial real estate broker, questioned whether the site at 44 Broad St. has been appraised, noting it is a very valuable piece of land in Nashua that could potentially be an ideal redevelopment parcel in light of the Broad Street Parkway now under construction.

“It will be an eyesore at the end of a new parkway,” said Kelly Maribito of 2 Sullivan St. “I really don’t think it is a good location.”

The parkway is intended to revitalize the area, according to Maribito, who claimed the existing skateboard park has graffiti.

Bill Gurney, owner of Gurney’s Automotive Repair at 83 Broad St., also voiced concerns about the proposed location for the skating facility.“It is one of the busiest intersections in the city or at least in the north end,” said Gurney, adding he was skeptical about whether a skateboard park would be the best use of that property.

David Deane, president of the board of aldermen, said Tuesday that the proposal has been assigned to the aldermanic committee on infrastructure for thorough review before being considered by the full board of aldermen.

Deane said the skateboard park committee never officially voted on the 44 Broad St. parcel but rather it was the only city-owned property remaining on the table as a feasible site after considering several other parcels.

It could cost about $500,000 to build the new skateboard park, and fundraising has already begun, said Deane. So far, $270,000 has been approved for the future skate park.

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