This week in the Buzz there’s housing news, muffin-related zoning and a retail McMystery.

Developers ceremonially broke ground on the Hartley Block on Thursday, a 63-unit project at 155 Lisbon St. in Lewiston. When it wraps, it’ll have both affordable and market-rate units, as well as 4,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

Meanwhile, another housing project is coming before the Lewiston Planning Board with a public hearing next Monday: a proposal by developer Louis Ouellette to build a six-unit elderly apartment building at 153 East Ave.

Last winter, Louis and Laurie Ouellette were turned down on a plan to build a 37-unit senior housing complex on Webster Street when the City Council declined to change the neighborhood’s zoning.

The location on East Avenue is zoned for a multifamily structure and capped at six units because of the lot size, according to City Planner David Hediger.

Doughnuts and muffins, maybe


The new owner of 33 Dunn St. in Auburn has asked that city to change the zoning so they can have office space on the bottom floor and a coffee, doughnut and muffin spot on the floor above.

The city is thinking about it.

The idea was first raised at the Planning Board meeting this month. Next, city staff will prepare a proposal on it for a public hearing in March, according to Eric Cousens, deputy director of economic and community development.

The Planning Board will weigh in, the City Council will consider it from there and it could go to another public hearing with an ultimate vote in April or May, he said.

The building at 33 Dunn St. had been the home of the Twin Cities Times. Publisher Laurie Steele said the weekly paper moved its offices to Munka in Lewiston, the shared working space, last year.

“We have not and will not be selling the paper,” she added.


Will there or will there not be fries with that?

Finally, let the McGuessing begin!

Apparently, there’s been interest in the former home of McDonald’s at 1240 Lisbon St. in Lewiston. (McDonald’s built a restaurant down the road several years ago.) People have reached out to the city asking development-related questions and an eagle-eyed reader reports the property has a sign that says “Under Contract.”

There haven’t been any recent sales recorded with the Androscoggin County Registry of Deeds, so for now, we wait.

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzz-worthy tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 207-689-2844 or

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Hartley Block at 155 Lisbon St. in Lewiston was held Thursday. The 63-unit housing development and commercial space is scheduled to open in about a year. (Christopher Williams/Sun Journal)

Developer Nathan Szanton addresses more than 60 people at the official groundbreaking of the Hartley Block at 155 Lisbon St., Lewiston, on Thursday. (Christopher Williams/Sun Journal)

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