Lewiston moves to sell downtown lots

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LEWISTON — The city will begin taking bids to buy the four downtown lots that had been included in the affordable housing development defeated at the polls in November.

Lewiston councilors agreed to begin accepting bids for 116 and 122 Pierce St. and for 155 Bartlett St. The minimum bid for the the three lots, which abut each other, is $30,000.

The minimum bid for the 155 Bartlett St. property is $7,500. The city took over ownership of the lots when their owners failed to pay their property taxes.

The city had included the three lots in Phyllis St. Laurent’s proposed housing development.

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St. Laurent had hoped to build 29 units of low- to moderate-income housing in three buildings, replacing buildings she lost in a series of May 2013 fires.

The St. Laurent apartments would have replaced buildings she owned at 149 Bartlett St., and 110 and 114 Pierce St. that were destroyed in a rash of fires downtown May 2013. The city lots were included to give her enough land to meet the city’s current zoning requirements.

City Administrator Ed Barrett said the city would require bidders to explain what they intend to do with the property.

“We can use various approaches, but our general approach is to ask for a bid and at least an explanation of use,” Barrett said. “We are asking for a simple explanation of what the intention is, just as we would for any other property that goes through this process.”

St. Laurent, contacted Wednesday, declined to comment.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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