Planning Board Reviews Village Plan Near Airport

By Alex Malm

The Planning Board had a conceptual review and non-binding discussion for a mixed used development on Akira Way and Grenier Field Road during their April 12 meeting.
It was explained by Dick Anagnost, a co-developer of the project, that they did a similar village style project in Bedford with retail in the front and a congregate care component and daycare along with manufacturing, office space, and residential.
“A village concept supports each other all co-located even though they may not be zoned appropriately for that area,” Anagnost said.
He said the centerpiece would be a 263,000 square foot industrial building, which would house Envision Technology, which is essentially a defense contractor.
Anagnost explained that the plan is for it to be built in two phases, with the first phase being 152,000 square feet and with the other being 110,000 square feet.
He stated that in total they would be bringing in about 1,300 employees and about 1,100 new jobs in Londonderry.
With bringing in new jobs, Anagnost said one of the issues will be finding housing for the workers. That’s why they plan on adding about 303 housing units across seven buildings.
Anagnost said they are planning on having a mix of workforce and market rate housing.
Another thing they plan on adding to the village model is a daycare.
“As we all know, daycare in our state is severely lacking,” Anagnost said.
Another proposal they are looking at is building an approximately 15,000 square foot retail center, which would be like a general store.
Planning Board member, Jake Butler, said he thought the proposal was unique and was glad to see them planning on bringing in daycare.
“It’s in a pretty unique location,” Butler said.
Assistant Town Manager, Kellie Caron, said that the applicants agreed to go forward with the variance process in order to get any variances they may need.
Planning Board member, Lynn Wiles, said that some regulations may need to be worked around, but he thought it was a good project.
“I think it’s a great project,” Wiles said.
Town Council Liaison, Ted Combes, suggested they may want to add a restaurant or bar to the village as well. He added that he also hoped they would be able to find people to work in the daycare considering the shortage across the state and country.
“I hope that you find the people,” Combes said.
Anagnost said it’s expected to take a number of years to develop everything, however, all the infrastructure would be put in place at the same time.
Planning Chair, Art Rugg, noted that despite variances likely needed, he thought it looked like a good project.
“I think this is very creative. I think we’ve got to be creative now,” Rugg said.
The next Planning Board meeting is slated to take place on May 3 at 7 p.m.

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