DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Derry

May 1, 2014

Derry downtown group begins new chapter

DERRY — The downtown committee is alive, well and ready to continue supporting the town.

A newly rejuvenated Downtown Committee is meeting again after a hiatus of many months.

There are familiar faces and some newcomers. The group is ready to find ways to support Broadway and downtown business owners.

This comes on the heels of some new town efforts in place, including the formation of an anti-blight committee to study ways to make downtown buildings more presentable and attractive.

The Town Council also made a pledge during a goal-setting session to make economic development and downtown revitalization a priority.

That’s good news for the downtown group.

“There are exciting developments downtown,” committee member Gordon Graham said.

He cited several new businesses now open, including the Grind Rail Trail Cafe that is putting a new spark into downtown life.

“They are young people with a lot of ideas,” he said.

The new downtown group will focus once again on possibilities for the Abbot Court, town-owned parcel once the focus of an extensive downtown plan in years past.

That plan has a lot of history, Graham said.

But that conversation also stalled. Now, councilors are renewing their talks over town property downtown and what the best plan might be.

“That was one of the reasons this committee is in existence,” Graham said. “And one reason the committee disbanded.”

He said a lot of work was down in past years and it’s now time to start the momentum again.

“A renewed, shared vision would be great,” he said.

Planning director George Sioras said there is excitement downtown with new businesses coming in.

He called Broadway an “eclectic mix” right now of interesting options.

Still, there are challenges. There are absent landlords living in other states who don’t care for the buildings they own in Derry.

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