N.H. Mill Project On Time, Budget

Thu January 01, 2009 - Northeast Edition
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CLAREMONT, N.H. (AP) A mill redevelopment project in Claremont is progressing on time and on budget.

Two mills are scheduled to reopen in June to house commercial and other endeavors after being closed for more than 50 years. Nancy Merrill, the city’s business development coordinator, said the installation of new windows gave the district a look of renewal.

“It’s a ’wow’ moment,’’ said Merrill. “People are really shocked.’’

A $25 million private investment is infusing new life into four of the city’s mill buildings.

The Wainshal building, which includes Monadnock mills No. 2 and No. 6, will have approximately two dozen hospitality suites on its first two floors, the fast-growing Red River Computer Co. on its third and fourth floors and commercial space on the fifth and sixth floors.

The Woven Label building will have a 200-seat Common Man Restaurant on the first floor, featuring an outdoor terrace with views of the Sugar River falls. The upper level of the building will have another six to eight hotel rooms.

The city is redeveloping the nearby Sawtooth building as a parking garage, and interior work has begun on the Peterson building, where another developer plans to create 47 riverside condominiums.

Merrill said inn developer Rusty McLear used the falls of the Sugar River as a focal point in the design of the rooms.

“There are bedrooms facing the river with the river coming right toward you,’’ she said.

After breaking ground in May, construction crews spent the first few months shoring up the Wainshal building’s foundation and reinforcing interior beams, said City Manager Guy Santagate.

Crews also removed lead paint and asbestos. Work now has shifted to installing elevators and steel for walls.

“It just looked like such a dark and nasty building, and when they did some of the cleaning of the interior bricks and beams, now it’s just beautiful,’’ Merrill said.

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