Linkage

 

Major Businesses & Industries
Newington is known mainly for its high profile malls that are situated at the epicenter of the Seacoast region's retail market. Newington's one million square feet of mall space is surpassed in New Hampshire only by the mallage of Nashua and Manchester. Salem NH Town Planner Ross Moldoff, no stranger to retail development, claims that Newington has some of the most aesthetically pleasing mallage in the state.

Less visible are Newington's industries. For the most part, they pre-date the malls and pay better wages. These industries include Tyco's 450,000 square foot fiber optic cable manufacturing plant, Westinghouse's 66,000 square foot nuclear reactor manufacturing plant, Georgia Pacific's 300,000 square foot wallboard plant, several bulk storage tank farms owned by Sprague Energy and Sea-3, Inc. that boast a combined storage capacity in excess of three million barrels, and Thermo Electron's (formerly called Neslab) 130,000 square foot instrumentation plant. Neslab alumni may be contacted via a web site dedicated to present and former employees of the company.

Newington is one of New Hampshire's largest exporters of electricity. The 406 megawatt PSNH Newington Station burns gas and oil. A second electrical generating plant was recently constructed: Newington Energy's 525 megawatt gas-fired plant. The Town's industrial district has ample room for more such plants, along with an abundant supply of natural gas, cooling water, and proximity to the electrical transmission grid. The response of Town officials to power plant proposals has been notably positive. One benefit of the latest generation of gas-fired power plants is that these facilities produce electricity less expensively, more efficiently, and with significantly lower emissions than do older coal and oil burning plants. The older plants will be hard-pressed to compete, and some will shut down. The net result will be cleaner air and lower electric bills.

Lately, Newington has also been attracting several high-tech businesses, a result of the region's e-coast phenomenon. High-tech companies such as Wilcox Industries moved into Newington's Industrial District, while the pioneering bioinformatic firm Informagen blends nicely into Newington's rural landscape. The Town has recently made more land available for high-tech development.

Newington's success in attracting industrial development owes to several factors:

  • unparalleled access to water frontage along New Hampshire's only deep-water port

  • a complete array of public utilities including gas, sewer, water, telecommunication lines, and an ample supply of electricity

  • convenient access (i.e. two miles or less) to Interstate 95, the Spaulding Turnpike, the Boston & Maine Railroad, and an 11,000' long public airstrip at Pease

  • a strictly enforced zoning ordinance has prevented incompatible land uses from interfering with industrial operations.

  • an abundant supply of attractive homesites that are only a one hour drive to the urban amenities of Boston, a two hour drive to the ski slopes of New Hampshire's White Mountains, and a fifteen minute drive to several ocean beaches.

For more information on industrial development opportunities, contact Town Planner Tom Morgan at 603-436-1252, or via email.

 

Gourmet Restaurants
A constellation of fine restaurants grace Newington's mall district. In fact, a patron of international cuisine can travel the world without ever leaving sight of the Fox Run Mall. From EL Rodeo to the more traditional faux-Canadian fare of Bug-A-Boo Creek (originally headquartered in Rhode Island, and subsequently purchased by an Atlanta-based conglomerate), Newington's culinary treats span the globe. Even the local pancake emporium is aptly named International House of Pancakes.

Newington's other notable chain restaurants include the Italian themed Olive Garden (from Florida), the ubiquitous McDonald's, and Silicon Valley based Chuck-E-Cheese. The Fox Run Mall's food court features a constantly evolving array of nationally known, fast-food emporiums ranging from Taco Bell and Burger King to the usual purveyors of cookies and frozen yogurt.

Going head-to-head with Bugaboo is Longhorn's at the site of Midas Muffler. Well, so much for your lifetime muffler warranty.

Meanwhile, yet another steakhouse appeared on the horizon in mid-2007. The folks at the Tennessee-based Texas Roadhouse opened to huge crowds at the corner of Woordbury Avenue and Fox Run Road. Yee-Haw!

Early in 2008, two more franchise eateries arrived at the Crossings, complete with sidewalk seating to provide a little Parisian ambiance. By all accounts, Chipotle (a nationwide purveyor of "gourmet burritos and tacos") and Cold Stone Creamery ("the ultimate ice cream experience") are thriving in the heart of Newington's mall district. The Newington Chipotle is that company's only New Hampshire location, and is the chain's most northeasterly outpost.

You may be wondering, how did Newington draw such a stellar array of gourmet eateries? As much as we would like to take credit for this feat, it must be conceded that a state agency, the Pease Development Authority, played a key role. When the Air Force departed Pease, the State of New Hampshire undertook the largest real estate development project in it's history. The result: a 6,000 employee office park with few places to eat lunch on-site. At noontime, five days a week, hundreds of Pease-ites hop into their motor vehicles and head down Gosling Road seeking sustenance. Moral of the story: It's hard to put a lid on sprawl, traffic, and air pollution when State government keeps pushing the other way.

 

News, Opinion & Entertainment
The Newington Neighbor, published four times annually, has served up local news longer than anyone can remember. The Neighbor welcomes all news submittals and of course, your subscription.

New Hampshire Gazette, the nation's oldest newspaper, and one of New Hampshire's more opinionated ones, is now online. The Gazette features a comprehensive tide chart, regular updates on flag violations, and news and opinions on all the latest issues of interest and importance.

Portsmouthnh.com describes itself as the City Guide to Portsmouth & the Seacoast. This site is one of Portsmouth's earliest and most comprehensive sites, however the dining section inexplicably snubs Newington's extensive array of franchise eateries.

Seacoastnh.com is similar to portsmouthnh.com, but it covers the local arts scene and the region's history in greater depth. Alas, despite its links to over 200 local restaurants, this site also ignores Newington's fine dining establishments.

 

The Region
The City of Dover had one of the first municipal web sites in New Hampshire. It is still one of the best. The City of Portsmouth's site came along two years later. The site is a good source for information on Portsmouth area resources.

The Pease Development Authority recently updated their web site. The agency used to issue press releases touting their numerous achievements.

Has aircraft noise been bugging you lately? Call the official Pease Development Authority (PDA) noise hotline at 436-6333 to lodge your complaint with a machine. Alternately, call the Airport Manager during PDA office hours at 433-6536.

 

Wildlife Refuge
When the Air Force announced in 1988 that they would be closing Pease AFB within three years, NH State officials strong-armed their way onto the scene and attempted to seize the entire 4,253 acre facility, two thirds of which had been part of Newington since the early seventeenth century. In fact, to make way for the Air Force in 1952, nearly half of Newington's population lost their homes.

Pease's six mile shoreline along Great Bay and Little Bay was of particular concern, for its fate would determine the future character of much of the estuary. Would the shoreline be preserved in its natural state? Or would it be lined with pricey McMansions? Newington officials soon engaged State government in an epic struggle for control of Pease's shoreline.

The State's power was formidable. In their corner was the Bechtel Corporation, professional lobbyists, various political lackeys, entrenched bureaucrats, well-heeled real estate developers, US Senator Warren Rudman, and Congressman William Zeliff.

On the other hand, Newington's proposal for a refuge had widespread support among Seacoast residents, active backing from environmental organizations throughout New Hampshire, and support from US Senator Gordon Humphrey and NH House Speaker Douglas Scamman. The cause was assisted by a massive letter writing campaign from school children throughout the seacoast. The letters were directed to President George H. W. Bush.

In the end, Newington succeeded in persuading the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to step in and protect this land from our State government. Our special emissary to the Pentagon then succeeded in convincing the Air Force to agree to the land transfer. The Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the first such refuge in New Hampshire, was formally dedicated on October 9, 1992.

The 1,100 acre refuge boasts several hiking trails. The trail heads can be reached by motor vehicle via Arboretum Drive, or by bicycle along Arboretum or through Newington's Old Town Center Historic District. The refuge is well worth a visit.