J. Mogan: Downtown needs to be rebuilt

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I read with interest the letter from Edmund Burke in the Sun Journal (Oct. 23) suggesting that fewer buildings are needed in downtown Lewiston. His description of the condition of much of the housing stock downtown is right on the mark. And his suggestion that the image presented by a run-down inner city is problematic, both for potential investors and for the community’s own self-image, is absolutely true.

However, his suggestion that turning away a significant investment in rebuilding that very downtown will somehow improve the situation is misguided.

Vacant lots throughout the neighborhood attract trash and crime and are a sure signal to investors of disinvestment in the community.

The only thing that will change the situation is reinvestment that shows the neighborhood moving in a positive direction. New investment is what attracts more investment, not more and more vacant lots that end up off the tax rolls.

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The way to turn around the neighborhood is to redevelop it with new housing such as the building that St. Laurent is proposing — housing that is built at much lower density and integrates parking and open space into the site.

Downtown needs to be rebuilt, not abandoned to vacant lots.

Jessica Mogan, Lewiston

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