The Lewiston Planning Board on Monday evening approved an application to redevelop the former Pamco Shoe Machinery Co. building at 35 Beech St. Developers propose housing and commercial space in the four-story brick building and demolition of the one-story addition. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON – The Planning Board voted unanimously Monday evening to approve the development review application for the former Pamco Shoe Machinery Co. building at 35 Beech St.

Plans are for 33 housing units and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

Developers Collaborative, a Portland-based company with multiple projects in Lewiston and Auburn, purchased the former mill in 2014.

Mike Lyne, project manager with Developers Collaborative, said the commercial space would be for artists and workforce development, with a “preference toward focusing on textiles.”

“We’re thinking young art students who need affordable housing and affordable workspace would use it,” Lyne said. “We’re delving into new waters” by melding affordable housing and affordable workspace within the same unit.

Lewiston City Planner Douglas Greene said the former mill consists of the original four-story brick building and a wood-framed, single-story addition the developer wants to demolish.

Greene said razing the addition would increase the number of parking spaces from 60 to 72.

Lyne said taking it down “might not be as easy as expected.” He said Developers Collaborative has been in touch with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission about getting approval for demolition “but we’ve heard from people saying that it’s a long process.”

He said Plan A is to get approval for demolition “so we can have additional parking,” and Plan B would be to incorporate the addition into the floor plan.

“But we’re full tilt on Plan A right now,” Lyne said.

Pamco Shoe Machinery Co. sold new and rebuilt shoe machinery and parts until 2014. The building had other tenants, including Maine-Line Leather and an antiques store.

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