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Engineering problems stall new businesses in Londonderry

Union Leader Correspondent

June 18. 2017 11:37PM
Long Blue Cat Brewery is one of two businesses given conditional approval for the 298 and 302 Rockingham Road site. (MELISSA PROULX/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

LONDONDERRY — Engineering snags are slowing progress for two new businesses looking to open in town. Both are setting up shop in the buildings at 298 and 302 Rockingham Road.

One of the spaces will be filled by Long Blue Cat Brewery. Owners and longtime friends Jason Knight and Shane Sorenson began brewing their own beer at home in 2013. The microbrewery will feature their housemade beers, which the business said will include some locally sourced ingredients.

The other space was approved for a dog daycare business. It’s unknown who the specific client is for that space.

Previously, a chiropractor, a yoga studio and recording studio were housed in the buildings, but they’ve sat vacant for the last few years. Conditional approval was given by the Planning Board in March for the new businesses.

Already, the microbrewery owners have started fitting up their space, with the hope of opening sometime this summer. But they won’t be able to open until the drainage plan is approved for the back part of the property and the necessary changes constructed.

Property owners asked the Planning Board earlier last week to amend the approval timeline for the project. Marc Fortin, one of the owners, said they aren’t looking to dismiss the work.

“We absolutely intend to do what needs to be done,” he said.

A third party review of the plans should be completed shortly. Once those plans are given the green light, construction of the new drainage system should take about a month.

However, Fortin said the project’s engineer has been taking longer than expected on this part of the plan.

“Unfortunately, I find the wheels turn slow,” he said of the progress.

Since the two businesses aren’t doing any of the drainage work — that’s being headed by the property owners — co-owner Jane Keefe said they just want to allow the businesses to open as soon as possible.

“The two businesses have nothing to do with the back part of the parcel,” she said.

The board voted to table a decision on the waiver until its July 5 meeting, in hopes the review of their stormwater management plans will be completed by then.

Business Technology Londonderry

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