State approves big plans to revamp New Hampshire welcome centers

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | Monday, June 24, 2013

Plans are moving forward to revamp two rest areas at Hooksett, N.H., into welcome centers along Interstate 93. Truck parking will be available but diesel for trucks won’t.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan and the state’s Executive Council signed off on a 35-year ground lease contract with Granite State Hospitality LLC, doing business as the Common Man Hooksett, as the developer and operator of the two sites. Construction of the two sites is expected to cost $32 million.

According to the terms of the public-private partnership provided by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, the state will net a guaranteed rent amount of $23.3 million over 35 years, as well as “a tiered percentage rent based on gross sales and gallons of fuel sold.” The NHDOT-Turnpikes may receive more than $38.9 million in “rent payments over the 35-year term based on forecasted sales.”

Bill Boynton, public information officer for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, told Land Line on Monday, June 24, that the northbound site will have a total of 310 parking spaces for trucks, cars and buses and there will be 240 spaces at the southbound site. He said a breakdown on the number of truck parking spaces at each site is not available yet.

Work on the northbound site is scheduled to begin in October, while work on the southbound welcome center is scheduled for January 2014.

Boynton said he wasn’t sure if truck parking will be available at the sites during the construction phases. 

Truckers may want to fuel up before heading to the sites because while diesel will be available for passenger vehicles, there will not be fuel islands for truckers because of site constraints.

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission will finance, own and maintain two wine outlet stores at the welcome centers and will reimburse the developer $8.4 million.

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