Within Dover’s boundaries are numerous opportunities for growth–and growth that qualifies for the special incentives. There are five major areas within the city that qualify for inclusion in the state’s ERZ program. They include areas that the City wishes to see revitalized. The potential is tremendous for the right business.
1) Central Business District
Along the Cochecho River are several former mill sites, and the former site of Dover’s Public Works Department. All sites are ripe for redevelopment of different types. The Cocheco Falls Mills in the center of downtown are largely renovated and have been geared towards office space, but opportunities abound for commercial and retail use that would take advantage of the city’s revitalized waterfront district and downtown. Recently, a limited number of residential apartments and condominiums have been added, making this a unique live/work space opportunity. Washington Street Mills has also been largely upgraded into a mix of office, retail, and light manufacturing space, but further opportunities still exist for large and small scale leasing.
The former main site of Goss Manufacturing includes office, manufacturing and warehouse potential with more than 700 parking spaces. It has easy highway access and is located along the railroad lines. Goss still occupies 25 percent of the site, and other businesses are in place, but additional space is still available.
Across from the mills, and right on the river, is the City’s former Public Works site. This area of prime real estate is ideal for mixed use, including retail, office, or residential. Such uses would complement the existing downtown and mill revitalization efforts, and the site is accessible from the new Washington Street Bridge. River access is also possible. A private developer has outlined major plans for the site, and prime leasing and subdividing opportunities are available.
2) Interstate/Locust Street
Just off the Spaulding Turnpike are several properties with great potential. One is a former lumber yard, another is industrial grade with warehouse space, and the third is the site of a former college. The City hopes to attract industrial users to the industrial site, and to attract commercial use to the former college location, which is adjacent to both the Spaulding Turnpike and Central Avenue.
279 Locust Street
This is an historic section of Dover and one that has long been the center of industry. In 1899, Moore Business Forms purchased Kidder Press Company and operated in two locations in Dover. One, located off Broadway, was eventually sold to Harris Graphics which continued to operate until 2000. The site is industrial grade and also includes a warehouse with one tenant. The site’s loading facilities, parking and infrastructure are all being upgraded. Located within view of Exit 7 on the Spaulding Turnpike, the site has more than 50,000 square feet of industrial space.
McIntosh College was founded in 1896 as the Dover Business College; the name was changed in 1902 when it was purchased by David McIntosh, and the school went on to become well known for its courses in criminal justice, accounting, and culinary pursuits. The school closed in 2009. The property contains a large building which was built in the late 1990s and a 200-space parking lot. This area has attracted a lot of development interest, given its proximity to the Spaulding Turnpike. It is zoned residential but is best suited for non-residential use.
Former Lumber Yard
Adjacent to 279 Locust Street is a former lumber yard, currently vacant, which also contains the remnants of an old railroad bed. The area is accessible by both Locust Street and Fisher Street. This parcel would be perfect as an industrial space, or, with a zoning variance, as a commercial or residential space.
3) Industrial Park
The Industrial Park ERZ refers to industrial parks within the city limits, which are located on Sumner Drive, Progress Drive, Industrial Park Drive, Littleworth Road and Knox Marsh Road. All of these locations have easy access and proximity to the Spaulding Turnpike, off of Exit 8. Many of the parcels have direct access to the Guilford Railroad Line, which runs parallel to Knox Marsh Road. In fact, many of these sites were developed with railroad spurs leading to them. While there is vacant land within these areas, there are also plenty of vacant industrial structures here as well.
Industrial Park Drive
Located less than one mile from the Spaulding Turnpike, this area was developed as an industrial park back in the 1970s. It has long been a center of commerce and industry. Among the larger industrial spaces available is that formerly owned by Davidson Textron. They constructed the largest structure in the park, which is centrally located and encompasses 250,000 square feet of warehouse space. The structure has since been divided into more manageable spaces, creating a multi-tenant industrial center. It is currently about 50 percent leased. In addition to this building, there are four other buildings available for lease within the park.
Hannaford Parcel/Sumner Drive
This vacant parcel was approved for a supermarket in 1992. Hannaford Brothers ultimately decided to locate elsewhere in Dover, and the land has remained vacant. The parcel is adjacent to the Sumner Drive industrial properties, and although it is currently zoned retail, it could be combined with an industrial property for that type of development. Sumner Drive properties currently include the hub for the COAST bus service, a storage facility, two light manufacturing facilities, and an automotive repair facility.
EAD Property/Progress Drive
Located on Knox Marsh Road is the former home of Easter Air Devices (EAD). This large, single-user building was constructed in the late 1970s and encompasses more than 100,000 square feet, including space for offices, manufacturing and warehouse uses. Smaller industrial users are also located on Progress Drive, which is off Knox March Road. The Progress Drive parcels are all built out, except for one behind EAD which has varying degrees of wetlands present.
The General Electric Company operated a plant in Dover until 1993, when its tool and die division was sold to Cambridge Tool & Die. Cambridge Tool has continued to operate the site to this day. The company has added two additions, thus increasing the square footage of the manufacturing facility to 150,000 square feet. This site backs up to the Spaulding Turnpike, is directly adjacent to the rail line, and has the ability to turn its driveway into a right-of-way so existing property can be subdivided in the future in order to encourage development on the surrounding acreage. The area is currently zoned I-4 “office and assembly manufacturing” to encourage modern industrial uses in the area.
4) Mast Road Corridor
These two areas include Brownfield’s sites that the city wishes to see revitalized. These were formerly the home of Dover’s extraction activities. The locations include three active gravel pits, one closed pit, and the City’s Public Works facility. These locations are zoned for office and assembly manufacturing, and all have access to the Spaulding Turnpike, via Exit 7, and New Hampshire Route 4.
Mast Road Sand and Gravel
This area has been a gravel pit for more than 50 years. The parcel is more than 40 acres in size and is almost at the end of its life as a mining site.
Griffen and Tyra Pits
Also off of Mast Road are the Griffen and Tyra pits. These gravel pits are the closest to the end of their useful life as extraction locations.
This gravel pit is adjacent to the city’s Public Works facility. The Proulx family currently operates the pit and has indicated that they are investigating future uses of the property. Also located on their site is an asphalt batch plant, operated by Pike Industries.
5) Sixth Street Corridor
This area is comprised of properties located on Production Drive, Venture Drive, Quality Way, Innovation Way, and Sixth Street itself. All of these properties have easy access to the Spaulding Turnpike, via Exit 9, and some even border the turnpike. The area is home to the headquarters for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Measured Progress, but the properties available do not include acreage on Liberty Way or Education Way.
This area of Dover was developed as an industrial park in the 1990s. Located less than one mile from Exit 9 of the Spaulding Turnpike, the area is an ideal center of commerce and industry. Venture Drive is the heart of Enterprise Park, the city’s premier business park, which has been steadily developing over the past 15 years. On Venture Drive, there is currently 47,000 square feet of industrial space ready for redevelopment, plus there are several vacant parcels of land on Quality Way and Innovation Way which are located just off of Venture Drive. These parcels are geared toward smaller users are available for re-subdivision.
Also part of Enterprise Park, this street is well suited to industrial growth and is already home to several industries.
This former farm offers the best chance for virgin development in the area. It is comprised of 37 acres, including significant contiguous upland. The site provides a good opportunity for assembly and manufacturing, given its accessibility to the Spaulding Turnpike.