Redevelopment of former Shaw's Plaza in Merrimack is underwayBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
September 13. 2017 12:13AM
MERRIMACK — Construction is slated to begin in the coming weeks to restore and expand the former Shaw’s Plaza.
Tenants have yet to be announced for the development, which will become known as Merrimack Center. “It is just rumors at this stage. We don’t know any specific tenants yet,” said Tim Thompson, community development director.
A preconstruction meeting with the developers is expected to take place soon, at which point permits may then be obtained, according to Thompson.
“They are still pursuing a grocer of some sort to be an anchor tenant,” he said.
Hoyle, Tanner and Associates Inc. is the engineering firm for the project at 360 Daniel Webster Highway, which is expected to rejuvenate the plaza that has become an eyesore in the community.
“I believe there are some tenants that have been signed up, but I don’t know how public it is yet,” said Bill Davidson of Hoyle, Tanner and Associates. He said a partner for the project, OVP Management Inc., is handling the lease negotiations.
Rob Barsamian, president of OVP Management Inc., did not return a phone call or email seeking comment.
A few weeks ago, town planners approved the addition of two pad sites within the parking lot of the 14-acre parcel where Shaw’s once operated.
The first pad will be used for a 4,500-square-foot, sit-down restaurant, and the second pad will house a smaller fast-food restaurant with a drive-through.
“No tenants are known for either of those pads at this stage,” Thompson said.
Other work at the site includes significant renovations to the facade of the existing building, refurbishing the old structure and new outdoor lighting and landscaping.
According to Davidson, construction is expected to start in the next week or shortly thereafter. The preconstruction meeting must still be held with developers before construction progresses, Thompson said.
Previously, developers discussed potentially bringing in a fitness facility, hardware store, furniture store, optical office, hair salon, bank, dental clinic and family-oriented pub with outdoor seating, according to the conceptual plans. Those plans also suggest a village-like development with smaller tenants in the front near the roadway and the larger, anchor tenant situated further back.
The old Shaw’s Plaza has been sitting vacant for about a decade. Barsamian said earlier that they do not want to compete with the Merrimack Premium Outlets, but rather find their own niche based on the demand in the community.