Unidentified Buyer Interested Building on Old Friars Lot

600,000 square foot building would have to break ground in January

August 23, 2013
by Kristen Hoffman

Over 80 acres of land in south Hudson that have remained dormant for decades may be poised to become a major center of commerce.  Representatives from Fischer and Associates and Hayner and Swain Engineer Firm presented plans to develop a 600,000 square foot distribution center for an unidentified company on the parcel of land just off of Lowell Road.

The land, at 161 Lowell Road was the former site of the friary which closed decades ago.  Mike Demperio, of Fischer and Associates, spoke to the planning board.  Fischer and Associates builds large, build to suit warehouse spaces for companies around the globe.

The site proposed for Hudson would employee roughly 200 people, most of them new hires.  The land would include a parking lot able to accommodate 177 parking spots.  It is estimated that the company would bring an estimated $800,000 in taxes annually.

The warehouse would be a cement structure, built on a cement pad to help soak up the sound.  It would be 32 feet tall, with a slightly raised profile on one corner to allow for some office space.

Demperio could not comment on the prospective tenant looking at the land, but said Fischer and Associates represent some of the largest corporations in the world.

“We build 90 percent of Federal Expresses warehouses around the world,” he said.  The company recently finished work on a 1.4 million square foot warehouse in Bowling Green, Kentucky for Sun Systems, a computer software company based out of Connecticut.

Other companies represented include DuPont, SAP, Alacoa, Dow Jones and St. Gobain plastics.

“We have major clients,” Demperio said, “we are excited, our client thinks (this land) works for them,” he added.  He said the facility will be a clean, secure facility, “no one will be able to just come in,” he said, adding that the lot will have 24 hour guard.  The building will be protected by a fence.

Demperio said there will be no explosives manufactured or moved at the site.  He said the clean facility will mostly distribute packaged parts.  The warehouse would include $10 million worth conveyor belts.

Jim Petropoulus of the Nashua engineering for Hayner/Swanson described the location as ideal for the type of building being proposed.  The lot encompasses an area of 89 acres.  It is presently owned by a realty trust company.  The lot would be subsidized.  Eleven acres on the eastern fringe of the property, which borders Lowell Road will not be used by the company.  This land will remain with the current owner.

Part of what made the land so attractive for the buyer was the fact that there are no wetlands on the property.  According to Demperio, the buyer looked at land in another community in southern New Hampshire, but pulled out when they found out six acres of the land included filled wetlands.

The building, if approved, will be accessed in the south by Friars drive.  An emergency egress may be created to allow for life saving emergency vehicles to enter from a secondary point.

An additional 700 feet would have to be added to Friars Drive to serve as an entrance.

The remaining 79 acres would be home to the company.  The building would be situated west to east with loading docks facing the south.

Demperio estimates that 50 trucks per day will dock at the building.  This would be done to ensure the bulk of noise will be directed towards the Industrial park and not residential property.

Petropoulus said the majority of truck traffic would go straight to the highway.

The parcel of land abuts the Fox Hollow Condominium Complex and neighborhoods in the T-2 zone, which includes Maple street and others.

To keep in track with the unnamed company’s timeline, ground would have to break in January.  Petropoulus and Demperio acknowledged that time constraints could put a squeeze on the project.  In order to break ground in January, all the permits must be filed with the town by December.

Hudson zoning requires industrial space be within a 200 foot buffer of residential areas.  Petroupolus said there will be “pinch points,” along the northern edge of the building, as the property line is jagged.  Additional waivers would need to be filed to allow for a section of the building to be within the buffer zone.

The group will have to meet with the zoning board of adjustment and other groups in order to get the project approved.