Local Residents Restoring Twin Gate Foreclosure to Former Glory

After going to auction as a foreclosure, a former equestrian camp on Mammoth Road was purchased by a local resident who has been working for the past few years to restore the property to its former glory.

“I’ve been chasing that property for the past five years to make sure it didn’t go for sale,” said Nick Newman, who worked out an agreement with the bank that put the property up for sale after former property owner Twin Gate, LLC defaulted on the mortgage, also owing nearly $10,000 in back taxes. “I fell in love with the property, and when it went vacant, I felt like it was almost meant to be mine.”

Newman, who invested about $37,000 and countless hours of labor into rehabilitating the property, believing he would have the opportunity to assume ownership, said he was surprised by the Sept. 30 auction.

He learned only a week prior to the auction that Twin Gate had made a deal with the bank, without confirming the details of the agreement with him.

An agent of Twin Gate did not return phone calls for comment on the auction, and the mortgage holder, Anne Peterson, declined to comment.

Newman said he was relieved to have worked out a deal with both parties to obtain ownership of the 22.5-acre property, which he thinks is historically relevant to the Town of Londonderry.

Several years ago, a developer brought forward a proposal to the Zoning Board to redevelop the residential parcel, located at 195 Mammoth Road, as a mixed use project.

Neighbors spoke against the proposal, noting the Master Plan intends to restrict commercial development from creeping up Mammoth Road; and ultimately, the Zoning Board denied the use variance.

Newman said he doesn’t plan to change the nature of the property.

“I have done a lot of research on the property, and I’m trying to keep it as true to as it was,” he said. “I will not be tearing down any of the buildings. It will still continue to be a horse farm, but I won’t continue the equestrian camps for insurance reasons.”

Newman will, however, offer animal boarding in the horse stable, where he has completed a number of improvements.

So far, Newman, who grew up on a large beef cattle farm in Canada before moving to Londonderry with his mother while he was in high school, has installed all new plumbing and electrical systems in the 1840 nine-bedroom, cape-style home on the property; restored support beams in the barn and installed new power lines underground for all the buildings on the property.

In the arena, he restored the electrical system, installed new footings and new water lines and completed ditch work.

“When I took over, there was a lot of stagnant water and cracked I-beams inside,” said Newman, who brought in heavy equipment to complete the work.

Additionally, Newman, who works for Continental Paving and also serves as an on-call veterinarian, completed substantial groundwork, ripping up and replacing soil in the outdoor ring, where he plans to host horse shows.

As a tenant of the home on the property, Newman also plans to manage an agricultural farm on the parcel with a wide variety of livestock, including cows, sheep, goats and chickens, as well as a community garden.

He envisions revitalizing the property into a destination where members of the community and perhaps school classes can gather to enjoy the agricultural nature of the historic equestrian facility.

With much of the hard work behind him, Newman said he is looking forward to opening the farm for horse boarding on Nov. 1, and hopes to invite the community in to visit the livestock and community garden in the spring.

Knowing other potential developers attended the auction for the property, Newman is happy the historic and residential nature of the property, including a historic barn and an old camping bunk, will be preserved.

“I think it’s really important,” he said.

Moving forward, Newman, his mother, Darcy, and his sister Gretchen, who will be planting an herbal garden on the property, plan to continue their efforts to restore the equestrian facility and will live in the nine-bedroom home there.

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