Hanover Co-Op opens at Centerra

by John S. Leyba, | 10/24/97 5:00am

The Co-Op Food Store will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow in its new Dartmouth-owned facility three miles from campus.

Situated in the College's Centerra resource park on Route 120, the 35,000 sq. ft. supermarket has been open for three weeks. The market will relieve the crowding of the Hanover store, only two miles away, while providing more services in a facility twice the size.

According to Store Manager Bob Hayes, the accessibility and services of the store are its greatest assets.

"The Co-op has more to offer than the other supermarkets -- it is service oriented," he said.

The store also has a florist and cafe complete with a juice bar.

The Co-op is the anchor store of Centerra Marketplace, the retail center of Centerra Resource Center. The shopping center will include retailers Forever Yours, Thidwick's Kitchen, MiniCorp Kids, Systems Plus Computers and Lake Sunapee Bank, which are rushing to open in the wake of the Co-Op's debut.

Bill Little, owner of Thidwick's Kitchen, said the location next to the "Food Co-Op" is an asset, since "it's a grocery store that has the clientele that we would like to court, one that's a place to buy specialty foods. We service the items for cooking."

The Marketplace is an attractive place for business. College developers included trees and granite planters in the parking lot, instead of the standard cement. With Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center across Route 120, and the Lebanon Co-op averaging 1,300 customers per day, the retail spaces were easy to fill.

"The first phase will be fully sold or leased within the next three years, and Phase Two starts pretty soon," said College Real Estate Director Paul Olsen.

The second phase of development will include more light industrial and office space, Olsen said.

The 140-acre development, composed of commercial, office, and light industrial lots, will generate millions in revenue for the College over the next few years, mostly through land sales but also through leases for the retailers.

Other facilities include the Monsoon Restaurant, an Asian bistro. There will also be a fitness center and a Marriott hotel. All these are ahead of their building schedules. The Hanover-Lebanon district courthouse is finished but not yet open.

A multi-tenant office building, already approved, is planned for the Center, with 50,000 sq. ft. of offices for small law, accounting or software development firms. Developers will break ground on this project soon.