Some called it an eyesore and a detriment to the downtown’s appearance.
Benson said the building’s end was near.
“Within 30 days, the gas station will be gone,” he said. “We hadn’t done it yet; the timing wasn’t right.”
Many said the downtown is dying a long and painful death. Without a definite plan to bring it back to life, residents said it was hard to support the latest real estate deal.
“We don’t have any information or any plans for this property,” Kelly Martin said. “You should allow taxpayers to see a full plan before you go forward.”
Local real estate broker and property owner Steve Trefethen said he wants downtown Derry to succeed, but needed more information before he could support the latest purchase.
“What is the true town intention for those properties?” Steve Trefethen asked. “And this piece of land does not front anything. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
Mike Gendron wants the downtown to grow and thrive. He is a founding member of the Derry Downtown Committee and a strong supporter of Derry’s Opera House and its programming.
“I wish to see our downtown become more economically vibrant,” he said. “This is exactly the time to invest in Derry’s future.”
He said by not buying this property the town was missing out on a great opportunity.
“You vote no, it will stay like it is, or you put out a Request for Proposal to the world and ask them to make it attractive to them,” Gendron said. “Every time we have a chance to do something good for the town, we screw it up.”