Stone Arch Bridge area becoming a hub

  • The Stone Arch Bridge area of Jaffrey is becoming a business hub. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Stone Arch Bridge area of Jaffrey is becoming a business hub. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8:54AM

It may be less than a quarter-mile away, but a potential move for Cafe 532 and Deli in Jaffrey could have large impacts in the community.

Owner Peter Constant said Monday morning that he is in the process of negotiating to move his business from 16 Colls Farm Road to 79 Hadley Road, the building that already houses Terrapin Glassblowing Studio and a few other small businesses.

The potential move, according to Constant, could serve as a positive impact in town for a number of reasons, including but not limited to the creation of more jobs, more business for Cafe 532, and the expansion of another space which would allow more people in town to congregate.

“[Lab ‘N Lager] is great, but middle-aged people don’t really have a place to go in town right now,” said Constant, who said the move would allow Cafe 532 to offer dinner, procure a liquor license, and expand its catering options. “It would mean that people wouldn’t have to drive to Peterborough or Keene.”

Constant said the potential move was prompted by a need for more space, something the Hadley Road property would allow for. Presently, Cafe 532 has 800 square-feet, but would upgrade to 2,000-square-feet if they moved. 

Moving would also allow the business to capture more potential customers, as they would be closer to Route 202 and have a sign on the highway.

“We have a lot of great local support, but we can’t offer dinner without the coincidental traffic,” said Constant, who said there are still things to be figured out before any paperwork is signed. 

Jaffrey’s Director of Planning and Economic Development Jo Anne Carr said Monday that Cafe 532’s potential move could open up some opportunities for the Stone Arch Bridge area of town, with Cafe 532 serving as another business near the entry point of the area. 

“It does make the entrance more visible,” said Carr. “There’s a lot of capacity out there.”

Carr said the planning board recently approved an application for a site plan, which would allow Cafe 532 to move to the Hadley Road location. Questions about parking availability and lighting were brought up but solved shortly thereafter. 

While the Stone Arch Bridge area of town has a number of expansion and business opportunities, Carr said there has been a lot of focus as of late on developing Jaffrey’s downtown area. 

“When I’ve spoken to potential businesses, in general they want to be downtown,” said Carr, who said she is working with the planning board to try to make some “modest” revisions to the town’s Downtown Business District  through a zoning change. “It’s encouraging to see how many developers come to town. We’re trying to fit people in.”

Carr said she isn’t ready to make any specific proposal when it comes to a zoning change, but did say that public input would be an important part of the process moving forward. Any expansion or zoning changes would have to be approved at Town Meeting. 

“”We’ve had inquiries on mixed use, restaurants, and other developments, but we need space to put them,” said Carr. 

Carr agreed that the next five to ten years could be a critical time period for the future development and planning of what Jaffrey’s downtown can and will become, with potential zoning changes and traffic reconstruction projects on the horizon.

In implementing Complete Streets guidelines, Carr said potential changes to sidewalks, parking, and the potential addition of bike lanes and other pedestrian-friendly initiatives could also play a role in changes made to the downtown area. 

“As we pave, we will look at sidewalks, bike lanes, and other pieces,” said Carr. “It’s all about making the town a more attractive place, both for investors and residents.”

Carr said there are three major areas for business in Jaffrey: downtown, the Stone Arch Bridge area, and Drumlin Industrial Park. 

While Carr looks at expansion opportunities downtown and the potential to add more business to the Stone Arch Bridge area of town, Drumlin Industrial Park is relatively full. 

“We are looking to infill and redevelop existing space,” said Carr, of Drumlin Industrial Park. “I don’t expect any more build out in that area.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.