New England Development presents plans for
Nashua retail complex
Suzanne Bates, Correspondent
Manchester Union Leader
October 19, 2007
NASHUA, NH - Nashua's thriving economy, lack of a sales tax and proximity to Massachusetts make it the perfect spot for a new 600,000-square-foot retail complex, its developer told city business leaders yesterday.
The outdoor shopping center, called "Nashua Landing," will house the first Whole Foods, an upscale, organic supermarket, in New Hampshire. It will also include a 16-theater cinema, two parking garages and more than 70 shops and restaurants.
Armen Aftandilian, of New England Development, presented the plans for the project at a CEO Roundtable hosted by Nashua Mayor Bernie Streeter.
The planned development will sit a couple of miles from the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, alongside Daniel Webster Highway, where Dow Chemical once stood. It isn't far from Pheasant Lane Mall, an earlier New England Development project.
Aftandilian said his company chose to develop the site in Nashua because of the city's growing economy and population. Retail sales in Nashua total more than $3 billion annually, he said.
In a later interview, Aftandilian said the new center shouldn't affect business at other Nashua retailers, since it will bring a "different mix of tenants," at the higher-end of the retail business.
Originally, city planners hoped to combine Nashua Landing with a commuter rail station, but plans for the rail line still haven't been finalized.
The $200 million project should be under way sometime this spring, Aftandilian said. Once started, it should take 16-18 months to complete.
Normally these lifestyle centers include a residential component, but because of the nature of the land sales agreement, this site will not.
In his presentation, Aftandilian said his company is looking at Bedford as another possible site for a lifestyle center.
Also at the breakfast, George Bald, commissioner of the state Department of Resources and Economic Development, and Michael Vlacich, director of the state Division of Economic Development, outlined how the state can help the business community.
Vlacich spoke about a new $1 million state initiative to train employees where there are critical workforce shortages, such as in the information technology and manufacturing sectors.