This week the Buzz is marveling at yet another proposed housing project.

The Auburn Planning Board on Tuesday night got its first glimpse of the River’s Edge Apartments complex, a $4.2 million, 36-unit project proposed for 2.2 acres on North River Road.

Developer Tim Millett said the three buildings with 12 units each, a mix of one- and two-bedrooms, would all be market rate.

He’d ideally like to break ground in the spring with the first building finished around September or October.

With the buildings about 80 feet from the river, “it’s a pretty unique location,” Millett said. “They just redid that section of road — it’s kind of like it feels like you’re 10 miles out of town, but you’re two minutes from everything. It’s quite a spot.”

The buildings would be in the same style as the Gracelawn Apartments going up on Turner Street, he said.

“My father’s actually the one building up on Turner Street,” Millett said. “They haven’t even finished the first building, I think they have a dozen or two people who’ve already called on a waiting list. I do think there’s a demand for this.”

The project needs Planning Board approval and a number of permits.

City Planner Audrey Knight said after a first review, board members this week tabled a preliminary decision  and asked for more details for their December meeting.

“They had questions about the boat launch and about filling in wetlands and about sidewalks,” Knight said.

In other Auburn Planning Board news . . .

The private way Balsam Drive is now Kassbohrer Way after a request from Pistenbully. According to a city memo, “While internal procedures recommend that the city not assign proper names to streets, a precedent has been established for doing so by allowing John Deere Road and Subaru Drive.”

The board also recommended the city conduct a review of plans for infrastructure and land use for Hotel and Merrow roads after hearing from residents concerned about traffic counts and safety.

“It’s more of an alert to city council that this is an area that we’re concerned about,” Knight said. “It’s just putting it on their radar.”

Three twelve unit apartments may soon be constructed on this land off North River Road in Auburn. The Veterans Memorial bridge connecting Lewiston and Auburn can be seen in the background. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Mark your calendars . . .

Womply this week jogged 2018 sales numbers for 52,000 local, brick and mortar retailers across the U.S. to find the busiest shopping days of the year by market.

Four of the busiest 10 shop-local days in Lewiston fall between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to the website: No. 1 is the Saturday before Christmas, No. 4 the Friday before Christmas, No. 9 the Thursday before Christmas and No. 10 is Black Friday.

Among the average daily revenue spent at local retailers during the holiday season, by city: Portland
($1,396), Lewiston ($1,196), Bangor ($1,136) and South Paris ($933).

New business stats

Lastly, let’s warm our hands over a few hot Maine business startup stats.

In 2018, entrepreneurs started 10,805 new businesses in Maine, according to the U.S. Census business formation statistics count of business applications.

That figure was a 10-year high for the state.

For comparison, New Hampshire saw 12,859 and Vermont 6,465.

As of October, Mainers have started 7,678 businesses in 2019.

Here’s to a few thousand more to round out the year.

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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