The town also is fortunate for a large geographic area that Donehue said allows development to take place in a way people may not notice.
“That’s a big plus,” he said.
Londonderry is likely to see more jobs, and tax revenue, in the future, he said.
“I’m optimistic,” Donehue said.
Derry is seeing business development, too.
“I think, in general terms, we’ve seen an uptick in commercial development the last couple of years,” Derry planning director George Sioras said.
Housing development also is increasing in Derry.
“That puts people to work,” he said.
Derry benefits from location.
“We are a commuter town,” Sioras said.
A 2010 survey found 70 percent of people commuting out of Derry for work, about half of them to Massachusetts and most of the rest to the nearby cities of Nashua and Manchester.
Derry strives to be business friendly, too, helping companies navigate the permitting process.
“That encourages small business and we’ve seen more of them open in the last year or so,” Sioras said.
It makes a difference.
“Those two, three, four or five people are now employed,” he said.
Parnell acknowledged he, too, is optimistic for future employment in both Derry and Londonderry.
“We need to continue the work on I-93 and for Exit 4A,” he said. “What I’m hearing is that is going to happen eventually.”
As those highway projects are completed, that will create more economic opportunity for the towns, he said.
“I can see the whole area getting developed,” he said.
The proposed Exit 4A could boost downtown Derry by alleviating traffic congestion, Parnell said.
Windham Economic Development Committee member Bruce Breton said the town benefits from residents working in Massachusetts.
“Windham is not an employment base. They choose to live here, not work here,” Breton said. “Something like the high 90 percent work out of town.”