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Epping eyes retail plaza behind W.S. Goodrich

Union Leader Correspondent

January 15. 2014 9:29PM

EPPING — More retail and dining options may soon be coming to Epping with a new retail plaza proposed behind W.S. Goodrich Inc.

The plan proposed by Topsfield Associates Inc. calls for the construction of a 15,050-square-foot retail building and a 2,500-square-foot bank and/or restaurant at 99 Calef Highway (Route 125).

The development company has a purchase and sales agreement on about 2 acres of land now owned by W.S. Goodrich, a fourth-generation family-owned brick, stone and masonry supplier.

According to the plan unveiled at a planning board meeting last week, the buildings would be constructed behind Goodrich's existing building, which is also for sale.

Goodrich's owners, Bob and Dave Goodrich, have decided to split up their property by selling a portion for the proposed retail buildings and another piece for a new Cumberland Farms, which plans to relocate from its current home on a small piece of land at corner the of Main Street and Route 125.

At last week's planning board meeting, Wayne Morrill, a project engineer with Jones and Beach Engineers in Stratham, said the proposed plan shows a 150-seat restaurant locating in the existing Goodrich building at the front of the property. No restaurant name was identified.

Bob Goodrich said there's been a lot of interest in the Goodrich building from prospective buyers, but at this point it remains on the market. While the building's future use will be determined once the property sells, Goodrich said he's been told that the 4,225-square-foot building is best suited for a restaurant.

"That would be the highest traffic count," he said Wednesday.

The planning board made no decisions on the plan last week. The plan is expected to go back before the board at its next meeting on Feb. 13.

The project is the latest eyed for Route 125.

The planning board last summer granted conditional approval to a plan by property owner Jack Murray that calls for the construction of a 7,803-square-foot building and a second 6,350-square-foot building.

The buildings would be built between Route 125 and Railroad Avenue on 1.56 acres of commercial land next to a Shell gas station near the intersection of Routes 125 and 27.

Town Planner Brittany Howard said Wednesday the town is still waiting to approve architectural plans before the project can move forward.