Timeline for new Market Basket in Concord depends on next month’s vote

  • The New Hampshire Liquor Commission is announcing plans to build a new NH Liquor & Wine Outlet in Concord at Exit 17 off I-93. The 12,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Outlet at Concord Crossing on Whitney Road will be built alongside a new 80,000 square-foot Market Basket and other uses at the highly anticipated location, noted on this site map.

Monitor staff
Published: 3/10/2021 3:05:32 PM

A long-awaited Penacook Market Basket is expected to be up and running by fall 2022, with a new roundabout on Route 4 near Whitney Road planned to be finished by this Christmas, city officials say.

In a presentation to the Concord City Council this week, Director of Redevelopment and Special Projects Matt Walsh said that if the development plans for the project are approved next month, the complex could be ready in less than two years.

City leaders have been fine tuning agreements with developers for the project, which would add a new shopping area off Exit 17 of Interstate 93 in northern Concord. The proposal encompasses an 80,000 square foot Market Basket grocery store, a potential 20,000 square foot abutting store, and a standalone 13,500 square foot New Hampshire Liquor Commission outlet. But the owners and prospective developers, Canterbury residents Laurie and David Rauseo, are also hoping to expand the shopping center to include a bigger parking lot and more standalone stores down the line.

The fate of the project rests with the City Council. After hearing the presentation Monday, councilors will convene April 12 to vote on authorizing a number of agreements with Market Basket, the Rauseos and the Department of Transportation, as well as to approve the $4.78 million spending for the project overall.

Under the proposed agreements negotiated by city leaders, Concord would be responsible for paying for the installation of the roundabout where Route 4 intersects with Whitney Road, and for redeveloping the I-93 South ramp at Exit 17. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation has requested to make the on ramp a sharper turn so that drivers reduce speed as they enter the interstate.

The Rauseos would be responsible for upgrading Whitney Road by installing side walks and by paying for a second roundabout at the entrance of the parking lot.

The developers will also put forward $449,250 for costs to the town of Canterbury, whose town line neighbors the shopping center.

DeMoulas Super Market Inc., meanwhile, would be required to get the grocery store operational in two years, under the agreement. And the New Hampshire Liquor Commission would enter into a lease with the Rauseos to operate within a building that the developers would build and own.

As it decides whether to approve the project, councilors will also vote on whether to approve expanding an existing “tax increment financing” district in Penacook in order to help pay for it.

Under the plan, the city would enter a 20-year agreement in which tax revenues generated within the district would go toward paying off the development costs, an arrangement that allows the city to spend nearly $5 million without bonding, but which means the property tax revenue won’t go to the city’s general fund for decades.

The city has estimated that the development will more than quadrouple the tax revenue from the property, from around $85,000 a year currently to $378,000 by 2024. The complex is expected to support more than 438 new jobs, Walsh added.

City planners are hoping to begin construction on the roundabout this spring, Walsh said, but there remain some procedural hoops with state agencies. The city is still awaiting permits from the Department of Transportation, which must approve the final design plan for the Route 4 developments, and the Department of Environmental Services, which oversees wetlands protection and alteration of the land.

Walsh said he expected those permits to be approved in a few weeks. Once approved, the city can send out a request for proposals for contractors to start work on the roundabout.

The Liquor Commission outlet could be open for business by early 2022, Walsh said.

In addition, the City Council moved to improve racial equity and reduce racial bias in the city by voting in favor of a $12,000 contract with the National League of Cities for Race, Equity And Leadership training program within the city.

(Ethan DeWitt can be reached at 369-3307, edewitt@cmonitor.com, or on Twitter at @edewittNH.)

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