With supermarket and liquor store open, second phase of new shopping plaza under review

  • The New Hampshire Liquor Store off Exit 17 of I-93 held a grand opening on Tuesday. The new commercial plaza in Penacook, known as Merchants Way, features a Market Basket supermarket and soon a Home Goods store. A second phase of the project, including two restaurants, will be heard before the Concord Planning Board on Wednesday. Geoff Forester—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 9/20/2022 4:13:21 PM

The Market Basket shopping plaza off Exit 17 in Concord is entering its second phase of work that will feature more restaurant and retail space, a credit union and an urgent care facility.

Phase 1 included the construction of the Market Basket supermarket and a New Hampshire State Liquor Store – both of which have opened to customers. Several other buildings in phase 1 are still under construction, including a Wendy’s, which will be open by the end of the month, and Home Goods, which will be open by the end of October.

The Concord Planning Board will review design plans Wednesday night for Phase 2 of the Merchants Way project.

“The line between phase 1 and phase 2 got a little blurry but everything in the center of the development, like the tenant building, Jersey Mike’s, the credit union, the urgent care, the retail building and the restaurant space is considered phase 2,” said developer Laurie Rauseo. “We’ve had a very positive reaction to the phase 1 work.”

At the planning board meeting on Wednesday, board members will review the design of the project and provide additional feedback and suggestions.

After reviewing the plans, city engineers made several suggestions asking developers to make the travel route safer for delivery vehicles, install stop signs at intersections within the development for pedestrian safety and improve sight lines that would otherwise be obstructed by proposed landscaping plans. Additionally, developers were asked to include the names of all buildings on their applications and clearly mark tree placements.

“This is designed for them to give us non-binding comments and comments they would like us to consider when we go to do the more detailed site plans,” Rauseo said. “The staff is giving us those top-level, bird’s eye view comments, which will be brought into the final detailed site plan.”

Rauseo expects to submit a formal site plan by the end of the year for review. If approved, construction is slated to begin in spring 2023 with completion over the next several years.

The plaza will serve residents in Penacook and the surrounding towns of Boscawen, Canterbury, Webster and Salisbury, among others. Construction on the shopping center, including the extension of city water and sewer lines, has been going on for more than a year.

Work is continuing on the stand-alone Wendy’s eatery and construction will begin shortly on a building that will hold a Service Credit Union and a Jersey Mike’s restaurant.

“An extensive sidewalk network is planned to include sidewalks on Merchants Way and Interchange Drive along with another pedestrian path from Whitney Road into the central par t of the site,” a project narrative states. “An open green space is proposed on the north side of the restaurant where outdoor dining is also proposed.”

A 12-connection Tesla Supercharger station has been open for several months and the Mobil gas station is currently closed for unrelated renovations.

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