An aerial photo from March 2021 of the FedEx facility at 380 River Road in Lewiston where Gendron Realty will soon start a $1.75 million expansion. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

This week the Buzz is getting ready for Christmas, working on washing machine repairs and shaking a Maine-size fist at robocalls. (It’s not just you — turns out we, as a state, are getting A LOT.)

First up: It’s beginning to look a lot like … new construction.

On Monday night, the Lewiston Planning Board unanimously approved a $1.75 million, 35,388-square-foot expansion at the FedEx distribution facility at 380 River Road.

The building, owned by Gendron Realty, is 79,164 square feet. Up to 200 people work there year-round with up to 100 more hired for seasonal work in November and December, City Planner Doug Greene wrote in a memo to the board.

A FedEx truck exits the FedEx facility Tuesday at 380 River Road in Lewiston where Gendron Realty will soon start a $1.75 million expansion to be finished in time for the Christmas shipping rush. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“The primary purpose of the Phase 2 expansion is to increase the building size and operational capacity with the intent of opening in November to handle this year’s holiday business,” Greene said. “Phase 3 is planned to occur early in 2022 and will significantly increase the parking for employees and trucks.”

The expansion isn’t expected to add more employees and will start ASAP — the holidays are just around the corner.

Greene said Tuesday that if seasonal employment goes over 370, a new traffic study will have to be done at the site.

The new Agren corporate headquarters on Adamian Drive in Auburn provides needed office space. Agren operates six retail locations. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

‘Premiere training facility’ coming to town

Agren has new Auburn headquarters and big plans.

The major appliance retailer bought a 10,407-square-foot office building at 11 Adamian Drive from Lepage Leasing for $1.09 million, according to Mainebiz, with the sale brokered by Justin Lamontagne from NAI The Dunham Group and Mac Simpson and Peter Gwilyn from Porta & Co.

Manager Eric Agren said Tuesday that the executive, accounting and customer service departments moved into the new space last week, with 20 of its 115 employees now working there.

The move freed up space in its Auburn retail store, where offices had been located, making way for two changes there.

“The first is expanding our parts operation to help support our growing service technician team,” Agren said. “We currently have 15 service technicians on the road, and our parts department researches, orders and sets up all the parts for our technician team. We are looking to hire five more technicians at the moment.”

The second plan is to build out the space as a training facility for service technicians.

“We are developing a full-scale, premiere training facility to train new technicians from soup to nuts,” he said. “This includes a hands-on shop where we work on actual appliances, online training and the like. As far as I am aware, there is nothing like it in Maine.”

WhistleOut graphic

Called and bothered

Feel like you get a lot of calls asking about your vehicle’s extended warranty?

It’s because in Maine, you are.

The website measured the number of robocalls made per capita around the country and “Do Not Call” complaints registered with the Federal Trade Commission to come up with a list of the most and least bothered states when it came to robocalling last year.

Maine ranked second for most-bothered states, behind only Arizona.

Alaska was blissfully least-bothered.

Now about that warranty …

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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