A crew from Sundown Construction Inc. of Auburn prepares the foundation for the new entrance at the Auburn Senior Community Center at Pettengill Park in Auburn Wednesday afternoon. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

This week the Buzz is building, brewing and listening.

Hear that? It’s a quiet, massive investment in Auburn.

Last week, for a Mainebiz story with Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque, city staff pulled together a list that ran as “recent notable development projects in Auburn” that covered the past two years.

The vast majority have come through the building permit process where the public (or Buzz) might have seen a brief description and cost, but one sizable one did not: Panolam’s $10 million equipment production upgrades.

Panolam bought Pioneer Plastics Corp. on Pionite Road in 1999. The company makes specialty laminates and has typically not sought out fanfare around growth. It last appeared in the Sun Journal in 2017 when a worker opened a crate from China and had a mystery green snake with yellow eyes crawl out and disappear.

Calls to both the local office and corporate office in Connecticut were not returned Wednesday.


A virtual ribbon-cutting and congratulations to them.

Speaking of work

Construction has started on the Auburn Senior Community Center’s renovation and expansion. The building permit for the $406,494 project was pulled May 23.

The work will double the size of the space and lead to more programming by Auburn Recreation, according to a story by Andrew Rice in January when councilors approved the project.

Work is expected to wrap up this fall.

Bangor Savings Bank also received a permit in May for its new $1.1 million branch at 170 Turner St.


Walgreens closing local Rite Aid

While several Lewiston-Auburn Rite Aids have recently been flipped to Walgreens, at least one will not.

A company spokesperson on Wednesday said the Rite Aid pharmacy at 987 Lisbon St. in Lewiston will be open for the last day on June 17 and the entire store will close about two weeks later after a sale to help clear the store.

Customers’ prescriptions are moving over to the former Rite Aid/new Walgreens at 430 Sabattus St.

In a statement, she said: “We are committed to taking care of our team members throughout this process, and expect to have positions at other locations for the majority of store employees who are impacted. We will be making every effort to find the same or similar positions for team members.”

Walgreens bought 1,932 Rite Aid stores and has been evaluating which ones to keep open.


Sweet, sweet statistics

WorkWiseSoftware last month released a 50-state breakdown of the most searched-for ice cream flavors by state.

I know. You’re thinking, who searches online for ice cream flavors? But also, OK, tell me the goods on Maine!

Turns out we’re vanilla.

So are New Hampshire, North Dakota, Montana and Kansas. Wild child Vermont? Chocolate chip cookie dough. And Connecticut? Beer ice cream, which, who knew?

In early May, the same group also tabulated the most-searched coffee order by state.

In Maine, it’s cold brew.

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 207-689-2844 or [email protected]

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