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February 21, 2013

Londonderry officials still put hopes on Pettingill

LONDONDERRY — Hopes are still high for many in town that the Pettingill Road project might someday fly.

Londonderry Housing and Redevelopment Authority members want town councilors to put Pettingill back on the radar to help bring economic growth to town and pave the way for future savings for taxpayers.

Paul Donehue heads the Redevelopment Authority. He told town councilors the time was ripe for the Pettingill project to happen.

“The plan is for us to take the underdeveloped properties and make them productive for the town,” Donehue said. “That’s been our goal through the years.”

The 1,000-acre project has been on the town’s list for more than a decade. Many call the land near the Manchester Boston Regional Airport a perfect place to attract new business and helping Londonderry grow in more ways than one.

It’s also strategically located to support not only the business in and out of the airport, but future commercial and industrial uses that could bring a boom to the town.

“We’ve been involved in Pettingill Road conversations for 10 to 12 years and we’ve had opportunities,” Town Council Chairman John Farrell said. “We haven’t succeeded in any of those opportunities.”

Farrell questions how the town can make it happen.

“We’ve worked closely with the airport, we’ve had a number of reports,” he said. “How do we get there and where do we go from here?

Many are willing to help.

Russ Thibeault of Applied Economic Research was contracted to conduct studies of Pettingill. He was asked to offer direction on how to proceed when the town is ready and provide pros and cons as to what Pettingill could do for Londonderry.

If developed, Pettingill could generate thousands of jobs in that area, he said. Once development happens, it could take years for the town to reap the financial benefits, but those benefits will come.

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