Determined to revitalize its airport district, the City of Fitchburg retained help from MassDevelopment and VHB to create a vision plan that explores opportunities to redevelop excess land into commercial mixed-use development. This plan will address the airport’s initiatives to increase revenue, facilitate economic development, and promote revitalization. VHB has been a subconsultant on this project since September 2022 and has conducted stakeholder meetings, wetland resource area review, alternative conceptual site plan preparation, and financial pro forma and economic benefits identification.
The airport land has a unique, downward-sloping typography, with most of the property falling within the Nashua River’s 100-year floodplain. This typography, along with several hydraulic areas, poses significant environmental constraints to land development. The 12-acre northern tip of the airport is the optimal location for new development due to its distance from the wetlands and river. As part of the vision plan, VHB prepared the layout for a commercial mixed-use development area, proposing the establishment of a hotel, two small warehouses or industrial facilities, and light retail along Crawford Road.
The proposed revitalization will breathe new life into the airport district and improve its resources and amenities, generate airport revenue, and stimulate economic development, all of which will help strengthen the airport’s profile statewide.