Performing Arts Center Feasibility Study

In the Fall of 2016, the Economic Development Division and a special working group of Alderman and stakeholders in the arts community began working with the arts consultant Webb Management on the development of a Phase II Feasibility study for development of a new the Nashua Performing Arts Center in Downtown Nashua. This deeper exploration of feasibility is a follow-up to the Phase I feasibility study which was completed in 2016. The Phase I study made recommendations for establishment of a new arts district as well as the creation of a new 500-700 seat performing arts venue in Downtown.

In January 2017 Duncan Webb presented "Project Comparisons" or precedents for a venue in collaboration with sub-consultant Bruner/Cott Architects presentation of "Concept Design & Planning Study" to a stakeholder group to define the intended scope of development for a new venue in Downtown Nashua. In February 2017 Duncan Webb presented "Performing Arts Facility Business Plans" to a working group of arts organizations, civic leaders, stakeholders. The business plans provided the framework for the arts community to select a direction for further exploration of an an arts center venue. The work of Webb Management came to a close in May of 2017 when they presented their recommendation for establishing a new Performing Arts Venue. The final report from Webb Management (available below) provides significant detail on the exploration of sites, business models, financial planning, and economic impacts of a new venue which led to the final recommendation.

Previous Design Initiatives


In 2002 an Arts Center Feasibility Study identified a venue program featuring 100 parking spaces, a restaurant, lobby space, 1000 seat theater, 300 seat flex theater, 100 seat multipurpose as well as other supporting spaces. This program, was used as the basis for a conceptual design put together by staff in the Community Development Division in 2015. The concept sought to present a series of  spaces for the arts while celebrating a new view of Downtown Nashua. You can download the concept plan documents (PDF) which were presented to the Planning and Economic Development Committee in November of 2014. Articles covering the discussion can be found in the Nashua Telegraph, NHPR, and other media outlets. You can also download a printable one page concept summary (PDF) for more information.

2015 Concept Plan Develops into Feasibility Study

In September of 2015, the City of Nashua Mayor’s Office of Economic Development issued a Request for Proposals (RFP0265-101415) seeking proposals from professional consultants to study the feasibility of developing a new Cultural and Performing Arts Center within Downtown Nashua.  The services sought include the evaluation of programming needs, the development of project feasibility, review of specific sites and assistance with project next steps.   Webb Management Services, Inc., of New York, NY was selected to conduct the study as a nationally-recognized consultant with local experience.

After consulting with Webb, the City chose to break out the work into two phases, with two separate contracts.  The Phase I contract, evaluates demand for a new performing arts facility in Nashua, verifying audience potential, identifying potential users and uses, confirming its positioning within a competitive market, and considering how new performance facilities might support the broader goals of the City and region.  Please find a copy of the May 3rd 2015 Planning and Economic Development Committee presentation by Duncan Webb of Webb Consulting with the Phase I evaluation.

The Phase II contract will includes developing basic physical plans, cost estimates and operating projections for recommended facilities will be prepared only if the result from Phase I is positive.

For more information, please visit the Nashua Arts Commission page here.