Beckie Conrad, president and CEO of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, right, talks with real estate broker Dustin Boutin, left, during Thursday afternoon’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at 62 Spring St. in Auburn. Boutin is looking for a tenant for the 2,497-square-foot, first-floor retail space. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

This week the Buzz is cutting ribbons and painting turtles. Ceremonially.

Auburn Housing Authority and Ethan Boxer-Macomber’s Anew Development on Thursday celebrated 41 new housing units and the end of the $5.5 million project at 62 Spring St.

Thirty units are spoken for and people will start moving in by the end of the month, said Rick Whiting, executive director of the Auburn Housing Authority.

“(Boxer-Macomber) came up with the idea almost six years ago,” Whiting said. “Finally, we’re at a place where it’s ready to open,” he said. “People that have been chomping at the bit to move in (can).”

The housing authority will manage the building, which is across the street from the newly remodeled Hannaford supermarket.

Rent for the nine market-rate units ranges from $569 to $900. Rent for the 32 affordable units ranges from $532 to $821.


Whiting said they received more than 190 applications.

“There’s lots of demand,” he said. “I believe it will fill up by the end of June.”

The first floor of the development has 2,400 square feet of commercial space that can be divided into two units. They’re looking for tenants now and Whiting is hoping an entrepreneur might consider using Auburn’s STAR loan program, which offers forgivable loans of up to $50,000, with some conditions tied to the funds.

“We’ve had a lot of people kicking the tires, but no firm commitment,” he said.

Turtles! And maybe leaves!

The Union of Maine Visual Artists LA Chapter and Lewiston Public Works, the groups behind the hot dog crosswalk near Simones’ Hot Dog Stand, are planning more street art.


Co-chairwoman Melanie Therrien said a new turtle crosswalk will go in soon on Adams Avenue near Mr. Drew’s Exotic Rescue and Education Center.

The hot dog crosswalk in front of Simones’ Hot Dog Stand in Lewiston is getting company. Public Works will be painting turtles soon on Adams Street in a project with the Union of Maine Visual Artists LA Chapter. Photo courtesy Melanie Therrien

“The first two were funded by money raised by (the artists union) LA,” she said. “We recently were awarded a grant through Healthy Neighborhoods to do more crosswalks, painted fire hydrants and a mural on Webb’s  Market. The grant is funding projects to help beautify the Tree Streets neighborhood.”

Surveys are available at The Washtub, Webb’s, Tree Street Youth Center, Wicked Illustrations and Healthy Mainers Thrive to get feedback on what artwork residents would like to see in their area.

Therrien said suggestions so far have included leaves that fit in with the name of the street, such as Birch or Maple, puzzle pieces for autism awareness, footprints, bubbles and fish.

“We are currently working on locations with Public Works, solidifying designs and then we will go before the City Council,” she said. “Our intent with the creative crosswalks is to bring attention to them and public safety and create awareness.”

Ouch …


The stencil for the new turtle crosswalk going in on Adams Avenue in Lewiston. Photo courtesy Melanie Therrien

Wallethub came out with its latest survey on the best places to get a summer job and ranked Lewiston No. 85 out of 182. (Portland ranked No. 6.)

The survey says it used measures such as pay, youth unemployment rates and availability of jobs and internships.

U.S. News & World Report, meanwhile, released its annual “best states” ranking earlier this month and ranked Maine No. 32, a drop of 10 from last year. We got the worst marks for infrastructure and natural environment and the highest for crime, corrections and health care.

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or [email protected]

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