October 2012 Update

Lyme has begun to organize our efforts to start Phase 1 of River Park next year.  We have started to interview architects for the first building which will combine first floor retail space with office space on the second and third floors.  This building is located off Route 10, will be the new entrance to the site, and is situated near the old Bailey Brothers building site.  I feel strongly that this building will "set the tone" for quality at River Park, and we will share progress plans along the way.  Stay tuned for the official announcement of the architect and design team.

As some of you have noticed, Lyme has removed the dead red pines and associated underbrush in a couple of key locations on the site.  The pines are at risk due to some type of boring beetle and we wanted to stop the spread of this blight.  Lyme commissioned a biologist to survey the entire 38 acre site and to identify invasive species as well as rare plant life that we should protect, and we relied on this research to guide our decisions.  We also removed the trees at the end of Crafts Avenue as we finalize construction plans based on the City's decisions this past summer regarding sidewalks and curbs.  No building at River Park can be occupied prior to Lyme's completion of the sewer upgrade required by the City Council vote to allow us to connect to the City's water and sewer systems.  We had hoped to complete this work this year, but we were not able to incorporate the City's decisions in new construction plans fast enough.  Our goal is to start this work by next May or June, depending on weather.

I do want to report that our involvement with municipal officials has been professional and pleasant.  There is a new level of cooperation and support that we welcome.  As a way to show our on-going commitment to West Lebanon, we recently sold our headquarters building in Hanover and purchased the former West Lebanon Library building.  Lyme Properties will relocate to this facility next year and we will have an open house for the neighbors once the restoration is completed and our new office space is occupied.  You should see notable activity in the coming months at the 57 Main Street location as we restore the slate roof, complete the environmental remediation, and upgrade all of the building systems.  As you know from our Wilder Center restoration, we take pride in our historic preservation work and I am confident you will appreciate what we are doing to save this important building.

We continue to make progress on our state permitting efforts, the most important being our driveway permit application for the northern entrance off Route 10, filed in February, 2010.  I have met twice in recent weeks with the Commissioner of the N.H. Department of Transportation and he has marshaled his staff to assist us in understanding and meeting their conditions.  Additional traffic studies will have to be completed, but I remain confident we can accomplish full permitting this winter.  The northern entrance is not required for the first phase of River Park pursuant to our Site Plan and Sub-Division approvals by the Lebanon Planning Board.

As always, I personally met with abutters before the tree work began next to their homes, and I am thankful for their continued support.  It was also exciting to learn about the continued wildlife on the site, including deer, turkeys and two sets of bear cubs this fall.  Evidently the corn maze had unintentional consequences!  Lyme is committed to careful stewardship of the site and we will continue to mow the vacant lots and fields in addition to the removal of dead or damaged trees as we go forward to the first phase of construction.

I am also happy to report that our first "Available for Lease" banner will be installed by the end of October.  If you have ideas regarding the types of service retail users you would like to see on the site, please pass your thoughts along to me or to the Lyme office.