AUBURN — A plan for renovations to the city’s old police station at 1 Minot Ave. should consider the future of the entire Minot Avenue-Court Street corridor, according to developer Joe Casalinova.

“There’s a grander vision here, and it’s not about what I want,” he said. “It’s about what the community wants for that area. We are looking to shepherd this through the process forward. Our fingerprints are going to be on this forever, so it’s a very important project.”

City Councilors last week approved a deal extending the purchase option for the old police station for Casalinova and his company, Building Solutions LLC.

Previously, Casalinova had paid $5,000 in earnest money for his option, but that money was refundable if he chose to walk away.

As of May 23, that money is no longer refundable. He and the city have until Nov. 23 to work out a final price for the property.

Casalinova said he is currently taking suggestions from neighbors and Auburn residents about what they would like to see on Minot Avenue from Elm to Court streets.

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“We are trying to be responsible in what we put together from the standpoint of providing the types of service that make good sense,” he said. “What are people looking for down there?”

People with suggestions should email them to the company at [email protected], he said.

“Lewiston is doing their riverfront plan, and Auburn is looking at the downtown,” he said. ” There needs to be as much thought put into this area. We see this as a companion to both of those processes.”

He imagines the area will be a new gateway for visitors, linking Washington Street and Auburn’s Maine Turnpike interchange with the Twin Cities’ downtowns.

“This is how people will be coming into the city,” he said. “This is what they’ll see before they get to the riverfront or before they get a new ice skating facility. This is going to be their first impression.”

His plans for the police building have not changed. They still call for multiple stories on the site with retail space for a financial institution, possibly a bank or a credit union, on the first floor. Upper floors would be office space.

Casalinova said he’d like to relocate his company’s headquarter to the building eventually. Company headquarters are currently at 248 King St. in Oxford.

[email protected]


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