Tuscan Village Floodplain Improvement Project, Salem, NH

Tuscan Village is a 170-acre sustainable mixed-use development in Salem, New Hampshire at the site of the former Rockingham Park racetrack. Developer, Tuscan Brands, had a vision to create a thoughtful community that balances the three responsibilities of sustainability (social, environmental, and economic benefits). In tandem with the developer, the project team, including Tighe & Bond, PCA Architects, Greenman Pedersen, Inc., and Gove Environmental Services, mapped out a multi-phased design to achieve the sustainable vision and address any challenges facing the property.

The Floodplain Improvement Phase, led by Tighe & Bond with contractor Continental Paving, Inc., kicked off the project. An existing irrigation pond was reimagined into the 2.5-acre Tuscan Lake with the attached programmable greenspace of Lake Park allowing for public access to greenspaces for the first time. A series of underperforming culverts were daylighted to restore 3,000-linear feet of a Policy Brook on the property (formerly culverted for the development of the racetrack) which reshaped the floodplain to help alleviate flooding concerns during large storm events and at the same time created a robust habitat for aquatic and terrestrial species. Rain gardens were strategically placed throughout the property to continue with the aid of controlled stormwater runoff. With the Floodplain Improvement Phase laying the foundation, the Town of Salem will see economic benefits, such as a re-established tax base and an increase in permanent jobs, as additional project phases are implemented. Tuscan Village has struck a successful balance between retail, office, and residential uses while keeping the site’s environment and water ecosystems flourishing.