While the business world continues to be in turmoil, with labor supply, customer demand and supply chains struggling due to the pandemic, and rising U.S. interest rates squeezing investment, the Concord area has a lot to do in 2022. Here are some highlights.
One of the biggest business news stories in the area was the announcement by Bow-based commercial deep fryer manufacturer Pitco that it would build a 365,000-square-foot facility on Manchester Street near the border — about three-quarters the size of the Steeplegate Mall or Penn. Brock.
Located at 15 Integra Drive, the facility will combine three of Pitco’s existing locations in Bow, Concord and Pembroke into a complex that includes offices, manufacturing and warehouse space, where deep fryers, rice cookers and other restaurants will be built equipment. Around 400 jobs will be created there.
While it was a victory for Concord, it was a loss for Bow and Pembroke. The towns receive property tax revenue from Pitco’s current operations — $145,000 a year for Pembroke, $40,000 a year for Ball — and those revenues will be significantly reduced once the company moves.
Another big win for Concord is the return of the Grappone Mazda, which will move from a Grappone dealership along the I-93/I-89 interchange in Bow to a stand-alone site on Manchester Street. Construction has begun on the site, which sold Jeeps and Pontiacs under the Grappone name in the 1980s and has more recently become a wholesale site.
This was done because the main Grappone site had no room for expansion. Mazda dealers across the country are expanding and upgrading showrooms as the company works to differentiate itself in the U.S. market.
2022 also sees a development more than a decade in the making: the long-awaited opening of the Penacook supermarket.
In 2008, the city put a limit on the size of packages so it wouldn’t compete with an attempt to attract supermarkets to downtown Penacook, so earlier plans to open a supermarket near Exit 17 on I-93 were scuppered. After these plans fell through – with apartments already built on the site of a former tannery once used as a shop – size restrictions were lifted and development plans went ahead.
Market baskets finally open in September. The Merchant’s Way development also opened an independent state-owned liquor store, a Home Goods, a Wendy’s and some Tesla electric car chargers. Mobil gas stations with Dunkin’ Donuts remain open.
Concord developer Steve Duprey has two big stories this year.
One is the continued development of the huge former Lincoln Finance estate near Penacook Street. New Hampshire signed a $70 million deal to lease office space for 20 years as the new home of the Justice Department, which includes the attorney general’s office. The Justice Department building at 33 Capitol Street next to the State Capitol will be demolished to make way for a new legislative parking lot.
Second, construction will begin soon on a five-story commercial building between the Concord Food Co-op and the Bank of New Hampshire Stage on Main Street, which will include restaurants, offices and event space. An 1854 Victorian home on the site is expected to be demolished after a failed move.
In Bow, the massive DHL distribution center, a 244,000-square-foot warehouse — more than the space of four football fields — that houses all the liquor sold by the state’s 67 liquor stores, will expand by 27,235 square feet to accommodate the increased inventory.
Loudon’s LEF Farms will expand its hydroelectric greenhouse from 1 acre to 14 acres after being acquired by New York-based BrightFarms. This work will be performed at the existing Route 106 site.
One business development not to be missed in downtown Concord is the expansion of the Capital Mall on Storrs Street. After a years-long makeover, the 60-year-old plaza has a new building in the parking lot that will house a casual restaurant, a Starbucks with a drive-thru and 6,000 square feet of retail space.
In terms of reader reaction per square foot to the development, perhaps none compare to the news that Popeye’s is about to open a fried chicken restaurant on Loudoun Road, the first of its kind in Concord. It will be next to the Harbor Freight store, which is located in the former Toys R Us location.
Of course, not all business news is good in 2022. Many long-established businesses closed their doors.
Perhaps the saddest news for longtime Concord residents is the closure of Concord Photo Services on North Street, a business that in one form or another dates back to 1904, including decades of Concord cameras .
Owner Michael St. Germain, who worked or owned the company for 52 years, retired and could not find a buyer. Business is still good, he said, even as digital photography displaces the work of developing film and printing pictures. “I was knocked out. … I didn’t want to be behind the counter when I fell to my death,” he told them monitor in May.
August saw a sadly familiar story in the region, not once but twice: Warner Pharmacy closed in August after 10 years in business, and Penacook Pharmacy closed in April after 53 years in business. They follow a trend in which independent pharmacies can’t compete with chains like Walgreens and CVS, in part because the system by which pharmacies acquire patients and get paid is called a pharmacy benefit manager.
Veanos Italian Kitchen on Manchester Street closed in April as part of a redevelopment plan, much to the dismay of its loyal diners. But owner George Georgopolis moved to Beanie’s Bar and Grill at the intersection of Routes 129 and 106 in Loudoun, run by his son Nasi.
WOW Fried Chicken on Pleasant Street is closing after seven years serving an all-American meal with a Middle Eastern twist, and owner Maher Abbas is turning it into a cigar lounge—a business that requires less hard-to-find labor and is subject to fluctuating costs. Less affected.
Happily, there are many new retail outlets popping up in downtown Concord.
Among them are several restaurants, including the New Hampshire Pizza Company. On Main Street, opened by the owners of three Dos Amigos restaurants; EatXactly Cakes, which makes specialty cakes at 5 Eagle Square; and The Bean & Bakery, formerly White Mountain Gourmet Coffee on Pleasant Street.
In 2022, when Feathered Friend Brewing opens on South Avenue, Concord will have a third craft brewery.
Since people live on more than just food, Main also features Makers, with as many as 40 vendors selling handmade goods. They moved into the space formerly occupied by Simply Birkenstock, which took over the storefront vacated by Concord Photo Service.
Speaking of new businesses, we can’t fail to mention the most notable of them all: Teatotaller, an LGBTQ-friendly café that’s decked out Main Street’s frontage with paint bright enough pink to adorn its entire lawn. bird camp.