Planning Board Gets Update On Woodmont Commons

By Alex Malm

The Planning Board got its annual Woodmont Commons update during their April 6 meeting.
Presenting the fiscal impact for the project was Lucy Gallo. She said that as part of the agreement with the Town the report is required each year. Gallo said that the numbers were from July 1 2020 through June 30 2021.
One of the highlights that Gallo pointed to was the number of new residents living in Woodmont Commons. She said that during the time period 179 new residents moved in.
Another highlight that Gallo pointed to is the number of employees from Woodmont. She said that there are 71 employees, 68 of which are full-time.
Another item that was looked at as part of the report is the number of students currently living in Woodmont Commons. Gallo said that 14 public school children were living there.
According to the report “there were no allocable incremental operating and capital expenditures.”
“In other words there was sufficient capacity in the various schools the students attended,” said Gallo. “There wasn’t a need for more teachers or school facilities.”
It was also pointed out in the report that Public Works department costs “are not allocable to Woodmont Commons as the streets in the development are private and snow removal is privately contracted.”
“No allocable incremental personnel costs were identified, and no allocable incremental operating costs were identified as a result of our analysis,” the report read.
Chairman Arthur Rugg said that overall there weren’t any negative fiscal impacts this year from the project.
“The bottom line is there are no negative impacts on the Town,” said Rugg.
Ari Pollack, an attorney who represents Woodmont Commons said that there weren’t just no negative impacts, instead there were positive ones.
“The bottom line is that there is a significant positive impact,” said Pollack.
Pollack said that while the purpose behind Woodmont Commons wasn’t to generate revenue for the town it is a nice effect.
Pollack also gave an overall update about the projects happening at Woodmont Commons. He said that they have a significant amount of things that have been built there so far.
“It’s real,” said Pollack.
One of the current projects underway that Pollack pointed to was the Baldwin Retirement Community.
“It’s a significant undertaking and it will work out great,” said Pollack.
He said that the pre-sales so far are “impressive.”
“They are going to hit a homerun with it,” said Pollack.
Another project that Pollack pointed to was the Derry Medical Office Building which was approved.
Some projects under purchase agreement include more multi family housing and there has been more discussion with medical office uses.
Pollack said that they are also talking to a flex manufacturing group and are also having ongoing discussion for even more medical businesses.
With the pandemic Pollack said that they also have had more interest in housing.
Pollack told the Board that the restaurant business isn’t what they were pre-covid but said that they are reserving some opportunities for it because it was part of the original vision for Woodmont Commons.
One of the major outside issues that they have been dealing with is supply chain issues along with the labor shortage which has affected people across the country.
“It has become incredibly difficult for contractors to hold their pricing,” said Pollack.
Rugg said that based on what the Board heard during the presentation that it sounds like good news.
“It sounds promising,” said Rugg.
Pollack agreed.
“It’s promising and terrifying all at the same time,” said Pollack.

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