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Londonderry development called NH's 'most significant'

Union Leader Correspondent

August 07. 2014 6:38PM

LONDONDERRY — A regional expert in fiscal studies said the development of Pettengill Road would bring with it “significant fiscal benefits” for the town of Londonderry.

During Wednesday night’s Planning Board meeting, Russ Thibeault, founder of Applied Economic Research in Laconia, shared results of his recent analysis of the project, which he called “the most significant development in the state.”

“This is a project that is going to be more beneficial than I’d ever imagined,” Thibeault told the board.

Project engineer Chris Rice said the new logistics center would employ 200 employees when it opens sometime in 2015. That number is expected to double within eight years, according to Rice.

The study process was an extensive one, Thibeault said, noting that he’s interviewed developers and town officials and also formed case studies of facilities similar in size to the soon-to-be-built UPS facility, including the Wal-Mart distribution center in Raymond and the Associated Grocers of New England facility in Pembroke. “In both of those communities, I received no negative comments from town officials about these two very similar developments,” Thibeault said.

Following a brief discussion Wednesday evening, the Planning Board granted conditional approval of Phase II of the new UPS facility. Construction crews have been clearing the site for the past month or so, after the board gave its blessing for them to do so in early July.

“This is a big, big project for Londonderry,” Chairman Art Rugg said this week. The 614,000-square-foot building will serve as a logistics center for Pratt & Whitney.As part of the development agreement with the town, UPS has agreed to construct the first 1,800 feet of Pettengill Road. According to Thibeault’s estimates, the road project will total $1.3 million.

Developers have also agreed to pay a current-use penalty to the town, which Thibeault said would be around $300,000.

Once built, the new logistics center will be assessed for approximately $40 million and is expected to generate more than $800,000 in annual tax revenues.

On Wednesday, Public Works Director Janusz Czyzowski noted that Pettengill Road has been on the table for the past two decades, when the state Department of Transportation first proposed a concept of connecting the F. E. Everett Turnpike to the Manchester Boston Regional Airport.

In more recent years, the town has been working closely with the DOT, the airport and local landowners to provide access from Industrial Drive.

Czyzowski said the ultimate goal would be to open up 700 acres of industrial land via a four-lane road.

“The idea is to have the construction be conducted by future development,” Czyzowski said.

UPS officials have agreed to build their section of roadway with two lanes in each direction, but Czyzowski stressed the importance of “having a design that would accommodate future expansion to four lanes.”

Rice said the new logistics center would employ 200 employees when it opens sometime in 2015. That number is expected to double within eight years, according to Rice. UPS officials said they expected there would be around 50 trucks entering and exiting the facility over the course of a regular work day. Those visits would be spread evenly among three work shifts.

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