EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 14, 2013

N.H. commission ready to market commercial space globally

Local developers and towns looking to market commercial property and bring more jobs to the area could get a big boost through a new program.

ReadySetGo!, launched by the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission, targets potential buyers worldwide and makes it easier to sell properties for development, according to commission chief planner Jack Munn.

The program is now being introduced to town planning boards and developers, Munn said. Three developers already have signed on, he said

Derry and Londonderry are among three local towns eligible to participate because they fall within the commission's jurisdiction.

The third town is Windham, where community development director Laura Scott said participating would be an excellent way to attract businesses and bring jobs.

"It's a great opportunity," Scott said. "It brings national attention to the town of Windham and economic development opportunities."

The commission will introduce ReadySetGo! to Windham officials at their Planning Board meeting Feb. 6, Scott said. The board would have to decide whether Windham participates.

Derry planning officials provided input on local land-use regulations over the last few years, but the town has not decided if it will participate, town planning director George Sioras said. A presentation to the Planning Board probably wouldn't take place until spring, he said.

The program offers certification for commercial, industrial or mixed-use zones sites larger than an acre.

It's the first certified site program of its kind in New England, and optional for developers and communities that want to participate, Munn said.

Certification is a great selling point for potential buyers, he said. Various planning requirements must be met to receive the three levels of certification.

"It gives additional recognition that this certified site is important to the economic growth of the community," Munn said.

Another key aspect of the program is it gives property owners approval for five years instead of a year or two, providing more time to market the sites, he said.

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