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What is northern New Englands Hub?


What is northern New Englands hub?  

74 members have voted

  1. 1. What is northern New Englands hub?

    • Portland
      43
    • Manchester
      26
    • Port City/Seacoast Area
      4


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A picture is worth a thouasand words. These two satellite images are at the same scale. I tried my best to center them around the part of each city that looks most urban. You can see that Portland has a major advantage. It has more of a true downtown than many booming cities several times its size, such as Charlotte, Houston and Phoenix. I think that is what makes it feel like a real city despite its small population.

Portland

portlandmn1.jpg

Manchester

manchestergc4.jpg

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Manchester is deffinately the hub of NNE. The census statistics for Manchesters metro area are very misleading, only including a few towns when portlands "metro area" includes basically all of southern maine. Manchester hands down.

I remember when I was a small child and lived in Manchester my mom and I used to take the bus from the end of our street to Elm Street for shopping. Back then, there was Pariseau's, McQuade's, and Leavitts. But when you think about it, Leavitts was hardly much more than an oversized disount store, and the other two department stores catered to women. Even back then, Manchester's Elm Street never had the array and selection that was found on Portland's Congress Street, with Owen Moore, Rines, Benoit's, and Northern New England's largest department store, Porteous Mitchell and Braun. When we visited my grandfather, who lived in Gorham, Me, we would go to Portland,. and I can still recall how crowded the streets were, and so many stores! Of course, all of those stores have closed, but the feel of the two streets is still there. Elm Street has pulled much of its urban landscape down, and the new structures are for the most part ugly to my eye. Congress Street has kept its urban landscape pretty much intact, and when one considers the Old Port district, that has more than doubled the number of retail stores and restaurants, there is another reason why Portland is the hub of Northern New England. As far as the census is concerned, the figures to me are perfectly accurate.

Manchester is pushed up next to Nashua and Boston, limiting its dominence over other smaller communities around it. Portland does not have that disadvantage. There's no major city to the north at all, and no major city for 100 miles to the south. Therefore it becomes much more of a true central place.

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I remember when I was a small child and lived in Manchester my mom and I used to take the bus from the end of our street to Elm Street for shopping. Back then, there was Pariseau's, McQuade's, and Leavitts. But when you think about it, Leavitts was hardly much more than an oversized disount store, and the other two department stores catered to women. Even back then, Manchester's Elm Street never had the array and selection that was found on Portland's Congress Street, with Owen Moore, Rines, Benoit's, and Northern New England's largest department store, Porteous Mitchell and Braun. When we visited my grandfather, who lived in Gorham, Me, we would go to Portland,. and I can still recall how crowded the streets were, and so many stores! Of course, all of those stores have closed, but the feel of the two streets is still there. Elm Street has pulled much of its urban landscape down, and the new structures are for the most part ugly to my eye. Congress Street has kept its urban landscape pretty much intact, and when one considers the Old Port district, that has more than doubled the number of retail stores and restaurants, there is another reason why Portland is the hub of Northern New England. As far as the census is concerned, the figures to me are perfectly accurate.

Manchester is pushed up next to Nashua and Boston, limiting its dominence over other smaller communities around it. Portland does not have that disadvantage. There's no major city to the north at all, and no major city for 100 miles to the south. Therefore it becomes much more of a true central place.

After a few months, I got to thinking more about this topic. I don't believe Northern New England has a hub at all, nor do I believe that Boston is the hub of all New England. The question should be more like, "What Northern New England city has the greatest dominance over the cities and towns that surround it?" The Portland Community Chamber did a study of how the Portland Economy effects the state of Maine. The report was released on Tuesday, October 30, 2007, and is available on Adobe. The report compared Portland's economy to other metro areas in Maine, plus some national benchmark areas that contained a city with similar population to Portland. What the study found was that a full 43 % of Maine's gross state product came from the Portland region. 44 percent of Maine's total personal income came from the Portland region, as compared with only 12.2% for the national benchmark cities; Manchester being one of them. Although this doesn't make Portland a hub for all of Northern New England, the study shows that Portland is certainly a major hub for Maine. I don't believe there's any part of Southern Maine (and much of the midcoast) that doesn't look to Portland as its economic center. Portland's economic area stretches for 40 miles in three directions. Manchester cannot make that statement. All one has to do is travel 18 miles to the south, and already,in Nashua, you've got a city that exceeds Manchester in high-tech employment, and is miles ahead of Manchester in the retail sector. Even then, Nashua owes much of its success to its proximity to the 3,000,000 residents of the Boston metro. My friends in the North Conway region have no reason to shop in Manchester. If they don't shop in North Conway, they come to Portland, because it's the closest major retail center. Even though WMUR is available on their cable, Portland channels are what they watch most, because Manchester only has one channel; Portland has all the networks.

If a true hub does exist for Northern New England, Burlington VT and BangorME too have greater dominance over their hinterlands as well, because the land is mostly rural, and there are no other cities to compete with them. Manchester may be a hub for Bedford, Goffstown, or Hooksett, but beyond that, I don't think so.

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After a few months, I got to thinking more about this topic. I don't believe Northern New England has a hub at all, nor do I believe that Boston is the hub of all New England. The question should be more like, "What Northern New England city has the greatest dominance over the cities and towns that surround it?" The Portland Community Chamber did a study of how the Portland Economy effects the state of Maine. The report was released on Tuesday, October 30, 2007, and is available on Adobe. The report compared Portland's economy to other metro areas in Maine, plus some national benchmark areas that contained a city with similar population to Portland. What the study found was that a full 43 % of Maine's gross state product came from the Portland region. 44 percent of Maine's total personal income came from the Portland region, as compared with only 12.2% for the national benchmark cities; Manchester being one of them. Although this doesn't make Portland a hub for all of Northern New England, the study shows that Portland is certainly a major hub for Maine. I don't believe there's any part of Southern Maine (and much of the midcoast) that doesn't look to Portland as its economic center. Portland's economic area stretches for 40 miles in three directions. Manchester cannot make that statement. All one has to do is travel 18 miles to the south, and already,in Nashua, you've got a city that exceeds Manchester in high-tech employment, and is miles ahead of Manchester in the retail sector. Even then, Nashua owes much of its success to its proximity to the 3,000,000 residents of the Boston metro. My friends in the North Conway region have no reason to shop in Manchester. If they don't shop in North Conway, they come to Portland, because it's the closest major retail center. Even though WMUR is available on their cable, Portland channels are what they watch most, because Manchester only has one channel; Portland has all the networks.

If a true hub does exist for Northern New England, Burlington VT and BangorME too have greater dominance over their hinterlands as well, because the land is mostly rural, and there are no other cities to compete with them. Manchester may be a hub for Bedford, Goffstown, or Hooksett, but beyond that, I don't think so.

I see you haven't been to Manchester or Nashua lately. Yes Manch only has on TV channel. who cares. Nashua may have BAE (where my dad works) and some other companies, but Manch has many high tech jobs as well, Rockwell Animation, Jewell Intruments, Sylvania, Comcast, Allegro Microsystems, Texas Instruments, DEKA, Riverside Assc, etc. And Nashua is not miles ahead of Manch in the retail sector. What makes you think that? Manch has the Mall of New Hampshire, and about 3 miles away in the suburb of Bedford is the Bedford Mall. And I do agree that Portland has more of an influence in its own state than, Manch has in its own state.

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I see you haven't been to Manchester or Nashua lately. Yes Manch only has on TV channel. who cares. Nashua may have BAE (where my dad works) and some other companies, but Manch has many high tech jobs as well, Rockwell Animation, Jewell Intruments, Sylvania, Comcast, Allegro Microsystems, Texas Instruments, DEKA, Riverside Assc, etc. And Nashua is not miles ahead of Manch in the retail sector. What makes you think that? Manch has the Mall of New Hampshire, and about 3 miles away in the suburb of Bedford is the Bedford Mall. And I do agree that Portland has more of an influence in its own state than, Manch has in its own state.

I was misquoted; I have been to Manchester and Nashua many times lately. But Nashua still has more high-tech than Manchester, and Portland is also a regional headquarters to many companies. In addition, Nashua has far more retail along the Route 3A corridor than Manchester has on South Willow Street; the Pheasant Lane Mall is larger than the mall of New Hampshire, not to mention the new lifetyle center that is planned for Nashua. The Bedford Mall? Is that worth mentioning? I have read, however, that a new center with some high-end stores is being discussed for Bedford, but the Portland area has plans for a center like that as well. I don't pretend to know everything; this is just my perception, and I hope I'm entitled to it. I used to live in Manchester, and have close friends there whom I visit often. I still have a lot of ties with Manchester, but I just don't feel that its demographic is enough of a central place to be referred to as a hub.

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not to get really involved with a pissing contest, but being a somewhat complete outsider to new hampshire having only spent any amount of time there starting about 3 years ago, i'd have to agree that nashua is more of a retail center than manchester. i've spent equal time in both areas and i've just seen more retail in nashua and southern NH than i have in manchester. i could be completely wrong though. i'm not talking just malls, but the amount of strip malls is larger and the shopping around the malls there, even on the MA side of the border is huge (reminds me of manchester, CT).

however, retail isn't everything and i'd say that manchester has more of an influence on a larger population in NH than nashua does.

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I think retail in Manchester suffers from cross border shopping. There's lots of retail stacked on the Mass. line to entice people across for tax free shopping. Retailers are trying to capture the 4 million people on the other side, and Manchester is too far away for them to travel. Portland doesn't have that problem.

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I think retail in Manchester suffers from cross border shopping. There's lots of retail stacked on the Mass. line to entice people across for tax free shopping. Retailers are trying to capture the 4 million people on the other side, and Manchester is too far away for them to travel. Portland doesn't have that problem.

I doubt people are going to go that far from Massachusetts into New Hampshire to go save 5% on purchases. Who from anywhere near the Mass Pike is like... let's go to Nashua, that 5% hurts me. Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill on the other hand, yes.

But then again, what is put on the Massachusetts side of the line to draw shoppers from New Hampshire? Massachusetts doesn't offer something like a Kittery across the border to drag people in on a regional level.

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I doubt people are going to go that far from Massachusetts into New Hampshire to go save 5% on purchases. Who from anywhere near the Mass Pike is like... let's go to Nashua, that 5% hurts me. Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill on the other hand, yes.

But then again, what is put on the Massachusetts side of the line to draw shoppers from New Hampshire? Massachusetts doesn't offer something like a Kittery across the border to drag people in on a regional level.

ummm... there's a TON of people north of the pike only half an hour from nashua and salem. yes, they go there for tax free shopping.

there's not a whole lot south of the border to draw people, except jordan's furniture (which has an IMAX) and some bigger stores in burlington, like LL Bean.

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ummm... there's a TON of people north of the pike only half an hour from nashua and salem. yes, they go there for tax free shopping.

there's not a whole lot south of the border to draw people, except jordan's furniture (which has an IMAX) and some bigger stores in burlington, like LL Bean.

I just wouldn't expect someone from Boston, Framingham, Marlboro, or Worcester to head to Nashua to save 5 percent. The gas would probably negate the cost of the sales tax, unless it was a huge ticket item.

Even then, I'm just over an hour from Nashua and about an hr 20 from Portsmouth/Newington. I wouldn't think of going to New Hampshire just because it's 6 percent cheaper.

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I just wouldn't expect someone from Boston, Framingham, Marlboro, or Worcester to head to Nashua to save 5 percent. The gas would probably negate the cost of the sales tax, unless it was a huge ticket item.

Even then, I'm just over an hour from Nashua and about an hr 20 from Portsmouth/Newington. I wouldn't think of going to New Hampshire just because it's 6 percent cheaper.

it depends on the item you're buying. if you're spending a lot of money, the savings you'd get by not paynig that 5% sales tax is worth it. and i'm not talking about framingham, marlboro, or worcester. i'm talking about the towns within the 128 belt north of the pike. they're the ones more likely to make that trip, not someone from framingham (when they have all the same stores right in town). but if you live with easy access to 128, 3, or 93, the trip is worth it. and all it takes it one trip there to see the number of MA plates in the parking lots.

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Bostonians and northern suburbanites do indeed travel to the malls stacked on the NH border for shopping. It is huge at Christmas when one is doing a lot of shopping, and as runawayjim said, if you're buying a big ticket item, it is worth it. Hell, when I lived in Boston, friends of mine would make Sunday beer runs to NH because we had no Sunday sales in MA. One would think you could get your beer shopping all done on Saturday, but sometimes you run out on Sunday. :alc:

Rhode Islanders travel into Massachusetts to save 2% so it is unsurprising that people would travel to NH to save 5%.

The Pheasent Lane Mall is so eager to get Mass. $$ that is sits literally right at the state line with some of its parking and its exit off route 3 located in Massachusetts. map

Similarly, the Mall at Rockingham Park has a massive southward oriented exit off 93 designed to funnel people and their dollars in from Massachusetts. map

There 723,000 people in Essex County and 1 and a half million people in Middlesex County waiting to spend their tax free dollars. Then there are more people in Boston itself who will make a special trip.

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