(Photo by Barry Scanlon/Lowell Sun)
The e-commerce giant would occupy two buildings totaling 2 million sq. ft. if a plan to build a new Logistics Center at the Hudson, N.H. property is approved. Green Meadow GC, a 60-year-old public club with two 18-hole courses, would cease operations after this season to make way for the center, but a neighborhood group is still hoping to block the development.
The major tenant for the proposed new Hudson (N.H.) Logistics Center has been revealed, the Lowell (Mass.) Sun reported. Amazon, the e-commerce giant, has committed to operating two of the three massive buildings at Green Meadow Golf Club, which would cease operations after this golf season if the plan gets final approval.
A second tenant, which would operate out of Building C in a 522,000-sq. ft. building, has not been identified, according to Dallas, Texas- based Hillwood Investment Properties, which announced the agreement with Amazon at an August 12th Planning Board meeting, the Sun reported. Amazon’s buildings would occupy 2 million square feet.
“We have full faith and confidence that when all the facts and data are presented and considered in a fair and objective manner, and misinformation is dismissed or corrected, the Hudson Logistics Center will be looked upon favorably because of its unprecedented and long list of economic and community benefits and its adherence to local, state and federal regulation,” said Gary Frederick, Senior Vice President, Northeast Market Leader for Hillwood Enterprises.
A neighborhood group, Save Hudson NH, is opposing the proposal, citing environmental, construction, noise and traffic concerns, the Sun reported.
One of the leaders of the opposition group, Jim Dobens, said neighbors have become “more steeled” to stop the project, which is reportedly the largest single approval, nonresidential, development proposal in state history, the Sun reported.
“Hillwood has been unimpressive. They’re really been evasive. They haven’t answered a lot of direct questions,” Dobens said. “They’re trying to put a square peg into a round hole. You cannot make traffic go away. You can’t make pollution go away. I’m actually baffled why they’re still pushing it.”
Green Meadow has been a public golf course since 1960, the Sun reported. Owned and operated by the Friel family, the course has long consisted of two 18-hole courses, the “Prairie” and the Jungle.” After the death of Phil Friel in 2000, his three sons, Phillip, David and Tom, became owners.
Dobens said neighbors don’t begrudge the Friels for wanting to sell the golf course, the Sun reported; they just wish the brothers entered into an agreement with a company other than Hillwood.
At the August 12 meeting, Hillwood officials were prepared to present a fiscal-impact study, but were unable to do so when the meeting ran long, the Sun reported.
According to Hillwood, which is known for owning high-tech distribution centers, the Hudson Logistics Center would create an estimated 1,400 direct jobs, 420 indirect jobs, 574 induced jobs and 833 construction jobs, the Sun reported. Overall, Hillwood estimates $4,243,500 annually would be created in property taxes and, after community expenses, the net annual revenue to the community would be just over $4,000,000.
Hillwood has asked the town of Hudson for approval to appear at the September 9th Planning Board hearing, to present the fiscal-impact study, the Sun reported. Hillwood has also asked the Conservation Commission for more time to update an improved site plan.
Previously, Hillwood proposed that 230 of the 380 acres of the Green Meadow property would be preserved as green space, including an area along the Merrimack River, the Sun reported.
Dobens, whose home sits through woods along the third hole of the Prairie course, said Hudson simply isn’t big enough to handle a project of this magnitude.
“God help the town of Hudson” if the project gets the green light, he said. “This is going to impact [surrounding towns of] Pelham, Dracut, Tyngsboro. This is not what people think it is.”
The announcement that Amazon would be the major tenant only makes Dobens feel worse about the proposal, the Sun reported. “Amazon has not been a good community supporter,” he said.
No final vote on the proposal has been set, the Sun reported.
“We are continuing to work with the Town Planner, Town Engineer and members of the Planning Board and Conservation Commission on addressing their questions and information requests. Much of our work right now involves making adjustments to the proposed site plan in response to comments made by those land use boards and the public,” Frederick said.
“For example, we moved our proposed buildings further away from the abutting neighborhood and must now update the site plan accordingly,” he added. “We are also improving our berm and sound-wall buffer system to mitigate sound, light and aesthetic impacts to neighbors, so those adjustments must also be calculated into the plan.”