LEWISTON – Six L-A companies won economic excellence awards Thursday night at the annual meeting of the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council.

Three of them were Auburn companies, and the awards were presented by Auburn Mayor John Jenkins, who was assisted by several Auburn city councilors.

Auburn Court LCC and its principal, George Schott, were honored for their part in bringing a new hotel to the city. On April 10, the new 100-suite Residence Inn by Marriott opened on Turner Street at Mount Auburn Avenue.

Through the hotel, developers George Schott and his partners in Auburn Court LLC have added $12 million in new property valuation to the city’s tax rolls.

Schott is an Auburn-based entrepreneur and developer of the Auburn Mall, Kohl’s, and other retail and commercial properties in the Twin Cities.

Auburn Court LLC is the new partnership led by George Schott with Ocean Properties Ltd., a company founded by fellow Mainer Tom Walsh more than 60 years ago.

Lufthansa Technik was honored for its role in restoration of a historic Lockheed L-1649A Super Star to airworthy condition in Auburn. It was one of two aircraft that have been seen parked for years near the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport runway.

A hangar to accommodate the historic plane was built at the airport and opened Nov. 20, 2008.

Riverside Millwork Center is the third Auburn firm to be honored. It is a group of companies that have been in business for more than 20 years, specializing in manufacturing and distributing the finest quality millwork products.

The company is in the historic Joiners’ Mill on Riverside Drive.

The center has partnered with exceptional brands of windows, doors, kitchen cabinets, builders hardware, and custom moldings at its 36,000-square-foot facility.

Lewiston’s winners were Central Maine Medical Center and The Public Theatre.

Awards were presented by Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert and Lewiston officials.

Central Maine Medical Center has been a fixture along Lewiston’s Main Street for nearly 120 years. A few recent highlights include the LifeFlight program, co-founded by CMMC in 1999; the $76 million Central Maine Heart & Vascular Institute, the first advanced cardiac services center in the central and western Maine region; and most recently, the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing.

In 2008, CMMC received state approval for a major expansion to its emergency room and lab facilities. This $47 million expansion will have a major impact on the region’s busiest emergency room, which averages over 50,000 patients a year. This project is expected to break ground in 2009.

CMMC’s 2,000 employees generate a $270 million impact in the L-A area annually.

In 1992, the fledgling Public Theatre moved from its temporary home in the Auburn Mall to Lewiston’s Ritz Theatre on Maple Street, where it has resided ever since. From its beginning, the theater has silenced critics who doubted that an equity theater hiring professional actors out of Boston, New York and beyond could succeed in L-A. In fact, The Public Theatre bought the building less than six years later.

Six years and more than $20 million of public and private investment later, the area around The Public Theatre is completely transformed. The theater is in the midst of its own $2.4 million capital renovation project.

A joint Lewiston-Auburn award went to Gendron & Gendron of Lewiston.

The Gendron family has been a significant real estate owner, developer and contractor in L-A since 1971, when it was co-founded by Del Gendron. Over the past 38 years, three generations of Gendrons have been leaders in developing residential, retail, commercial and industrial projects in Lewiston, Auburn and across Maine.

While Gendron & Gendron has grown to become a major development player across the state, about 90 percent of its work remains in the L-A area.

Gendron & Gendron broke ground on Phase II of the Gendron Business Park in South Lewiston. Building off the first phase of the park, the 11 lots in Phase II are designed to accommodate more than 1 million square feet of new buildings, which, when completed, will represent more than $53 million in new investment.

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