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(NECN: Lauren Collins, Claremont, NH) - A hundred years ago, Claremont was the economic hub of Western New Hampshire, where factory workers crafted machine parts and wove the linens used on the Titanic. That was a long time ago. The city has struggled in the past. Mainly due to the closing of joy manufacturing way back. They lost 15 hundred good paying jobs. Claremont wrestles with the stigma of a depressed, forgotten mill town whose best days are captured in sepia tones. But city manager Guy Santagate - who brought Chelsea, Massachusetts out of receivership in the 1990s - says Claremont’s best days are about to be realized: That's largely because this city of 13-thousand hit rock bottom years before the recession. There was no economic surge or housing boon here, just a stagnant market and empty storefronts. That is key to its renaissance. In the last five years, developers have committed tens of millions of dollars to the city -- and moved forward with those projects in spite of the recession: At the center of Claremont’s hopes, a nearly forty million dollar renovation of a textile mill complex along the Sugar River that had been abandoned for a half century Rick Bolduc of Red River Computer Company says when he first visited this site, the building was about to fall into the river. Every window was broken and pigeons had nested in the rafters. City officials convinced him to sign on as a developer of the Sugar River Mills project and relocate his IT sales and support business, along with 70 workers, from nearby Lebanon. Now he's proud to woo the suits from sun micro-systems, Cisco, and dell to Claremont: Their manufacturer reps, their VPs their senior management come here as a destination place. And they stay downstairs from red river - in the Common Man Inn. The owners of the popular New Hampshire restaurant chain were among the first to bid on the Sugar River mills project, and along with the Vermont based re-arch company, have transformed this once dilapidated hull into the city's most popular place to have dinner: They've heard of the revitalization of Claremont, and they want to come and they want to check it out. General manager Jennifer Brockett isn't sure how long that buzz will last - since Claremont has never had a hospitality market. She's hired about fifty locals to staff the restaurant and inn: Trying to stick with the Claremont folks. At the very least they know the area, they know the people and we can train them the hospitality side. The Sugar River Mills redevelopment features several more floors of office space and a yet to be completed condo-complex. Several historic downtown buildings are newly refurbished. The local hospital is in the midst of a 20 million dollar improvement and Lowes home improvement will soon open a new store in the city's retail district. There's no question in my mind that this could be the growth center for western New Hampshire. There's no doubt in my mind. We have all the pieces. Santagate believes that as the recession ends, industry will return. He also sees Claremont as primed to support the continued growth of nearby Dartmouth Hitchcock medical center with open space, infrastructure, and retail opportunities. In his words, now is the time to take a city that was stagnant, and bring it to its zenith.