Warehouse Firm Acquires Grantham Indoor Site

Valley News Business Writer
Sunday, January 28, 2018

Grantham— A Laconia, N.H.-based warehouse and distribution company has bought the Grantham Indoor structure in Grantham.

Laconia Best Warehousing and Distribution Inc. closed on purchase of the building and associated 10-acres of property off Exit 13 on Interstate 89 on January 4 and will utilize the 40,000-square foot structure as a warehouse and distribution center, according to Bob MacNeil, the former owner of Grantham Indoor.

“Logistically, it’s great for a transportation company because of easy access to the highway,” MacNeil said in an interview last week.

He said the new owner is in the process of installing shelving in the building, which they hope to have fully occupied by Feb. 12.

A representative for Laconia Best Warehousing and Distribution was not available for comment.

MacNeil, meanwhile, said he is currently in the process of trying to find a new home for the 18,000-square-foot Sprinturf playing field surface along with associated nets, boards, goals and a scoreboard.

MacNeil said the artificial turf was installed only two years ago at a cost of $72,000, but he’s willing to more or less donate it to the right party willing to put it good use.

“If we can recover some of (the original cost) that’s fine,” MacNeil said. “But the primary emphasis is to find a home and have it re-installed in another building.”

“The first priority is to find someone that can resurrect (the field) and find a home for my customers,” although MacNeil acknowledged there are not many venues in the Upper Valley that would have the required 20,000-square feet to accommodate the installation of the artificial turf.

MacNeil said he’s even willing to hand over his customer list to the recipient.

Otherwise, “we’re talking with a college and a couple small private schools,” he said. “They may take it and store it for awhile.”

The last resort would be to “chop it up” while salvaging the boards, nets and other equipment that still could be utilized at another sports venue. He’s also in talks to sell the interactive golf playing equipment and finding a buyer for that “is not as much of a problem” as finding a home for the field.

MacNeil, who is retiring, had sought a buyer for Grantham Indoor and initially hoped to find someone interested in continuing operating the site as an indoor athletic facility. But despite a couple near-deals, no other operator surfaced.

“We felt really bad having to close it, letting people down” MacNeil said. But he added that a recent outpouring of support and expressions of gratitude from dozens of customers and families who have played soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, boxing, baseball and softball and on the interactive golf machine over the past 19 years has left him “feeling pretty good.”

MacNeil had listed the Grantham Indoor facility for $1.35 million, although he declined to how say how much Laconia Best Warehousing and Distribution ultimately paid.

“It was a good negotiation, he said. “I think it was good for both parties.”

Johnb Lippman can be reached at jlippman@vnews.com.