LEWISTON — The developer behind the popular Lofts at Bates Mill wants to bring housing and retail space back to the former site of Marco’s Restaurant on Lisbon Street.

City councilors on Tuesday night are scheduled to vote on selling the empty lots at 159 through 177 Lisbon St. to developer Nate Szanton for $152,140.

Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

Szanton plans to build a five-story building with 71 apartment units, a mix of publicly supported affordable units and apartments with market rate rents.

He also plans to leave space on the Lisbon Street level for retail or restaurant space.

According to city documents, Szanton would purchase five of the seven vacant lots between the Professional Building at 145 Lisbon St. and Centreville Plaza at 179 Lisbon St.

Those vacant spaces once held four buildings dating back to 1895.

The Greely Building was home to Marco’s Restaurant, a downtown staple from 1978 until 2004, when the building was damaged by fire. The restaurant relocated to Mollison Way in 2006 but the Greely building was left vacant.

Arson claimed it and two neighboring buildings, the D.B Cressey, Old Kora Temple, in 2006. The city decided that all three, plus the nearby New England Furniture Building, were too unsafe to be habitable and demolished them that year.

The city took over the parcels in 2015.

That long block, across from Forage Market, has been vacant ever since. L/A Arts put Portland-based sculptor Charlie Hewitt’s colorful sculpture “Lewiston Rattle” on the northern end of the vacant stretch, overlooking Lisbon Street last summer.

Szanton’s deal involves the five southern lots, closest to Centreville Plaza, currently assessed at $129,360. Szanton has offered to pay the city $152,140 for the parcels, which total about 12,500 square feet.

His plans call for building tenant storage, laundry and a fitness space on the basement level, below Lisbon Street, with retail space on the Lisbon Street side.

The rest, including three stories above Lisbon Street and five on the Canal Street Alley side, would be 71 single-bedroom apartments.

The project is expected to cost about $15 million.

Szanton opened his 48 units in Bates Mill Building No. 2 at Canal and Chestnut streets in 2012. The project has been full since, and there is a waiting list. His business, the Szanton Company, operates apartment complexes in Portland, Biddeford and Exeter, N.H.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.