DEAR SUN SPOTS: With lots of renewal happening on lower Minot Avenue in Auburn (Agren’s Appliance, Mechanic’s Savings, and soon the old Barn location), why are the old abandoned Jimmy’s Restaurant and Cameron Tire buildings still standing? Urban blight is a poor welcome to the city. — Carl, Auburn.

ANSWER: Renewal and development is a process and can take some time and energy from a variety of sources to change the look and feel of an area.

Sun Spots contacted the City of Auburn and learned that Jimmy’s Restaurant is not abandoned, rather is is a pawn shop and rental business. When buildings such as the Cameron Tire building are privately owned, the city has little recourse to call for their removal when they remain in good standing with the city and are not in violation of city ordinances. So at this point, unless the private owners decide to do something differently with their buildings, the situation is what it is.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I love reading Sun Spots every day. I have two questions. First, I travel Hampshire Street in Auburn every day, and it is a war zone. Could you find out if there are any plans to repave it anytime soon?

My second question is regarding the Tim Hortons buildings on Center Street and Minot Avenue. They are both under contract. Any word who might be going to rent these building? Thanks. — Doug, No Town.

ANSWER: You’ll have to keep traversing the “war zone” for a while longer, but there’s hope in sight. Auburn’s Public Services Director, Dan Goyette, says Hampshire Street is currently being redesigned, and construction is planned for 2017.

As for the Tim Hortons buildings, people have been wondering what might happen to them ever since the coffee and donut shops abruptly closed in November of 2015. In early April, the Sun Journal reported that Morgan Acquisitions, based out of Connecticut, had purchased the properties, but at that time, little else was known about their futures. Sun Spots has learned that the Center Street location is set to become a new Taco Bell, but at this time, there are still no plans in progress for the Minot Avenue building. Keep reading the Sun Journal for updates.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Store Next Door Project at Lewiston High School is revving up again to provide critical supports to local students experiencing homelessness. With the support of our community, we are able to provide new backpacks, school supplies, clothing, sports gear, food and toiletry items to our students most at risk, at no cost to them.

If you are unsure how to help out, a financial donation can always come in handy. Hundreds of youth rely fully on this help in order to stay connected and succeed in school. Please give Mary a call at (207) 795 4190 ext. 2214, or email her at [email protected]. As always, thank you deeply for this support. — Mary, Lewiston.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.


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