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Goodwill store coming to Hudson at Stop & Shop site

Union Leader Correspondent

May 15. 2014 9:39PM

HUDSON — A former Hudson supermarket will soon house Goodwill Industries of Northern New England’s newest retail location.

If all goes as planned, the 15,000-square-foot Goodwill retail store, along with a separate “Buy-the-Pound” warehouse outlet and a goods donation center, will be open for business in October, Randy Finamore, retail president for Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, said on Thursday.

Finamore said the former Stop & Shop store, located at 9 Wason Road, would be fully refurbished over the summer.

Once up and running, the Goodwill center will employ approximately 100 people from the Nashua and Hudson area, which Finamore said reflects the company’s philosophy of helping people in need reach their full potential through gainful employment.

Folks from charitable organization are particularly excited about its Buy-the-Pound outlet, which will be the second of its kind.

Goodwill Industries opened its first Buy-the-Pound in Gorham, Maine, about two years ago. The outlet allows consumers to purchase deeply discounted household items, clothing and other goods on a “by the pound” basis: a concept that’s proven attractive to consumers looking to restore and repurpose items while encouraging recycling efforts.

Project officials brought forward their most recent plan proposal for a Goodwill retail store and shipping/receiving center at Wednesday night’s Hudson Planning Board meeting.

Discussions on the project began early last month, though local planning officials had asked Goodwill to revise its initial plans: adding additional trees and shrubbery to replace six former parking spaces, install a 6-foot-high vinyl fence along the site’s southeast parking area, and address concerns about outside storage.

The board unanimously approved the revised plans on Wednesday, with town officials voicing support for the project.

Planning Board Chairman Ed van der Veen said he’d recently visited the Nashua Goodwill store and was pleased with what he saw.

“It’s so clean and neat,” van der Veen said. “There’s no mess present in this type of business.”

Earlier this week at the selectmen meeting, attorney Roy Tilsley spoke on behalf of the charitable organization.

Tilsley said Goodwill Industries acquired the former supermarket structure in late March, though the company doesn’t own the land it’s situated on.

The attorney approached the board earlier this week seeking a charitable tax exemption for the building’s property taxes, noting that the building and its land were owned (and taxed) separately when it was a grocery store.

“It’s a unique situation,” Tilsley said, noting that Goodwill would still need to get an occupancy permit from the town.

“We’re moving expeditiously to get operations in place,” Tilsley added.

Selectmen opted to hold off on granting a tax exemption this week, while agreeing to consult the town’s attorneys first and then discuss the matter further an upcoming board meeting.

Chairman Roger Coutu said he wanted to be certain the site is being used for charitable operations, noting that the building isn’t being used for such just yet.

“There’s no guarantee at this point,” Coutu said. “Right now the building isn’t occupied yet.

Goodwill Industries of Northern New England operates nearly 30 retail stores in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont, including stores in Amherst, Concord, Derry, Dover, Hooksett, Laconia, Manchester and Portsmouth.

In August, Stop & Shop closed all six of its New Hampshire store, including the one in Hudson.

The freestanding, 64,288-square-foot building, located at a busy intersection along Route 102, has sat vacant since late last summer.

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