LEWISTON — A highly visible but long-vacant lot on the corner of East Avenue and Sabattus Street could soon have a gas station and convenience store with a Dunkin’ Donuts or Amato’s. 

The 27,644-square-foot lot at 445-449 Sabattus St. was once the site of a Cottle’s grocery store, a video rental business and a gas station. 

Lincoln Jeffers, Lewiston’s economic and community development director, said the sale of the lot has been in the process for more than a year. 

Guggenheim Real Estate Partners, a Texas-based company, has plans to redevelop the property into a gas station, car wash, convenience store and one of two fast-food eateries.  

According to a public notice for the company’s traffic movement permit with the Maine Department of Transportation, the project would include a gas station with 17 fueling positions, as well as a 6,000-square-foot store with either a Dunkin’ Donuts or an Amato’s with a drive-through window. There would be a separate 4,800-square-foot car wash. 

If approved, developers are planning for spring 2017 construction with completion this fall. 

“It’s been in poor condition, so to see it repurposed is a desirable thing,” Jeffers said of the property.  

City Planner David Hediger said the project is in its early stages. He doesn’t expect Guggenheim Real Estate to present its plans for the traffic movement permit until March. 

“We have yet to receive any real site plans,” he said in an email Wednesday. “We do have a traffic movement permit application, but the applicant is providing additional information that is needed before we schedule any hearings.”

Jeffers said the title for the property has not yet been conveyed to the new owner from current owner Joe Garcelon. 

Jeffers estimated the property has been vacant for 15 years. He said it was Cottle’s grocery store before becoming the first Hannaford supermarket location. It was then a NAPA Auto Parts store and video rental business. A Sunoco gas station was also on the site, right on the corner. 

According to the traffic movement permit, the business is expected to attract roughly 310 weekday morning peak-hour trips, with 210 weekday evening peak- hour trips.

Guggenheim Retail Real Estate Partners is a real estate development company that partners with select retailers on its national store growth programs, according to its website. It was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Dallas.

A listing for the property on the New England Commercial Property Exchange describes the location as a “high-traffic hard-anchor corner.” The listing price on the lot was $2.7 million. 

Other adjacent businesses include CVS and Rite-Aid pharmacies and Elizabeth Ann gas station and general store. 

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