Bluebird Self Storage has been working in recent months to put together a new business on 76 Perkins Road that will offer a series of storage units to Londonderry residents. But, in order to continue with this process, representatives first needed to meet with the Heritage Commission on July 27 in order to discuss the building’s visual impact on the community.
Bluebird had previously met with town staff in order to get permission to build in between Twins Smoke Shop and the Sleep Inn off of Route 93, including a meeting with the Planning Board back on May 10. During these previous meetings, representatives noted that the three-story building would take up roughly 100,000 square feet and that there would be a heavy focus on making the building aesthetically pleasing.
During the Heritage Commission meeting, Amy Sanders with CLD Consulting Engineers and Brendan McNamara, a residential architect, came before the commission to explain the project. The overall property would feature two entrances, with one being exclusively for emergency vehicles, as well as a pylon sign facing Route 93, wall-mounted lighting and a series of ponds along the front of the property.
In terms of landscaping, Sanders noted that Bluebird “really wants an attractive site.” A large variety of trees such as honey locust, red oak, and sugar maple, and flowers including hydrangeas and purple lilacs, would line the property.
McNamara, who noted that he was tasked with creating “a building appearance that would be acceptable across New Hampshire,” went into more detail about the structure of the building. He was well aware of how many tend to perceive buildings with storage units and unappealing and just a series of metal doors, which is why he set about explaining how this building was far different, focusing on aesthetics on the outside while keeping the units hidden inside.
There were major concerns from commission member Jim Butler, who was not a fan of the color scheme of the building – that being blue and gray – and felt that the whole facility would be a “big eyesore” to those coming off of 93 and he would prefer a red brick layout that looks similar to the nearby bus terminal. Chairman Martin Srugis suggested that Bluebird consider a new color scheme for the building. However, McNamara noted that using bricks would be a fiscal impossibility and the best he could do with the current color scheme is simply mute it.
For now, Bluebird’s team will have to go back and reevaluate their plans to help alleviate these concerns.