DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Opinion

May 29, 2014

EDITORIAL: Londonderry: A thoughtful approach to growth

Town Council Chairman Tom Dolan said Londonderry’s 1,000 acres of undeveloped industrial land “represents the economic cornerstone for New Hampshire.”

A heady claim, but pretty much on target.

Over the past six months, Londonderry officials have approved — or indicated a willingness to approve — some 1 million square feet of new industrial construction. That development will bring with it some 700 or more jobs in the first year of operation.

And there’s plenty of potential for more good development news to come. Local and state officials last week confirmed discussions are underway with other companies looking at Londonderry for growth or relocation.

The town has a lot to offer — proximity to Interstate 93 and the Manchester-Boston regional Airport, a skilled workforce and more residential growth about to start when ground is broken for the mammoth Woodmont Commons development. That’s a 20-year planned unit development with retail and housing in the mix.

For a town of less than 25,000, this is big news indeed.

Taxpayers can look forward to stabilized or lower property tax rates, opportunities for employment close to home and, still, the preservation of character that makes them want to stay.

Dolan and his fellow councilors have taken an active and thoughtful role in all these developments. None of them happened overnight. Woodmont Commons slogged its way through town boards for months. Talks with a real estate consultant for UPS and Pratt & Whitney, the latest to announce they’re coming to town, have been ongoing for some 18 months.

The vast tract of industrial land was ripe for development, but needed an economic turnaround and the work of many state and local officials to really take off.

Now, it’s here.

Pettengill Road is likely to see completion, funded either by the businesses locating there, a tax increment financing district or some combination thereof. It will truly be a road to the future for the town and its residents.

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