Andrew Collins, center left, and Jeremiah Gilkey, both of W.H. Demmons Co., apply adhesive for the metal stripping to weatherproof roofing at the former Lewiston Fire Department substation on Lincoln Street in Lewiston on Tuesday morning. Portland Pie Co. pulled out of a deal to move into the facility, but contractors continue to prepare the space for two apartments on the second floor and outfitting the main floor for potential business developers. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — Hold that order: Portland Pie Co. is not coming to Lincoln Street.

Kara Wilbur, the developer who bought the former Lincoln Street fire department substation, said Tuesday that the deal with the pizza eatery had fallen through and she’s now hoping to find a new tenant, ideally even by summer.

“Part of that plan (for the building’s reuse) was having an indoor/outdoor space and honoring that history of the fire station and the heritage there, having a roll-up door as part of that design so there can be patio dining in the warmer months and unfortunately, that didn’t align with the Portland Pie vision for their restaurant,” Wilbur said.

“There are a lot of people we’ve been talking to who are excited about that aspect of the building,” she added. “We’re still pursuing very much the same kind of use, something that people will be excited about, a brewery or a restaurant that serves comfort food.”

The former Lewiston substation closed in 1996 and had been marked for demolition in January 2017 when it caught Wilbur’s eye for redevelopment potential.

She and the city drew up a purchase and sale agreement for $1 after and after seven agreement extensions, the city and Wilbur closed on the building last July.

Portland Pie Co. franchise owner Patrick Mulligan signed a letter of intent in 2018 and said last year the restaurant was due to open before Christmas 2019.

Rehab work is running late but almost finished, Wilbur said. She’s hoping to have both the interior shell, along with two two-bedroom apartments on the second floor, completed by April 1.

“Now we’re looking for another restaurant tenant who is excited to use that whole space and the patio and have that energy kind of spilling out into the street,” she said. “I’m feeling very optimistic. I still believe that Lewiston and this area of Lewiston has so much potential. I keep talking to people, someone who can open a second or third restaurant, and I think a lot of times people are surprised about how many people live in this market area.”


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