May 5--NASHUA -- By the end of the year, there will be a new commercial building on the historic land where the old Kessler farmhouse once stood.
Bellwether Community Credit Union, headquartered in Manchester, is moving its Nashua regional office from 162 Burke St. to 409 Amherst St.
The credit union paid $1.3 million for the 2.8 acres next to the Ground Round. It purchased the land in February from The Blushing Rose owner George Kessler and his brother, Howard.
Michael L'Ecuyer, president and chief executive officer of Bellwether, said the site was appealing because it gives more visibility, retail exposure and convenience to its credit union members. More than 50,000 vehicles drive Route 101A each day, he noted.
"First and foremost was regional convenience," L'Ecuyer said. "It's located right off Exit 8. We want to make it easy for a large group of members to get to us."
The credit union will gain 1,800 square feet of usable space with the move. It currently has about 2,200 square feet at Burke Street, and it will end up with 4,000 square feet of usable space on the first floor of Amherst Street. The new building has a total of 9,000 square feet (4,500 square feet on two floors.)
L'Ecuyer is looking for a tenant to lease the 4,500 remaining square footage on second floor of the new building.
Last month, Bellwether demolished the farmhouse and barn that sat on the property -- the last piece of land that was part of the Kessler farm, said Mark Prolman of Prolman Realty Inc. of Nashua, who represented the Kesslers.
The credit union's Nashua staff plans to move into its new 9,000-square-foot facility sometime in December, L'Ecuyer said.
L'Ecuyer is still assessing how he might be able to use the Burke Street building, off Allds Street, which Bellwether will continue to lease, he said.
The civil engineering firm for the project is Hayner/Swanson Inc. of Nashua, and the builder is Milestone Engineering & Construction Inc. of Concord. The architect is Dennis Mires of Dennis Mires, P.A., The Architects, of Concord.
In a separate transaction, Prolman recently sold the nearby 1617 Southwood Drive building to real estate investment company Boulder Net Lease Funds, LLC of Northbrook, Ill., for $6.7 million.
That real estate company plans to maintain the building as an investment, Prolman said. It is leased to Sun Microsystems Inc.
"The investor who owned it wanted to sell it," Prolman said. "He just wanted to move onto other things, divest himself."
The two-story, 48,000 square foot office building sits on 9.96 acres within Southwood Corporate Park will continue to be leased to Sun Microsystems for three years.
Because of the property's location, Boulder has the option to expand by another 28,400 square feet. Prolman said that Boulder will likely expand in the future, but has not yet decided what it wants to do.
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