O’Reilly Auto Parts is moving into VIP Tires & Service’s location at 128 Center St. in Auburn.  Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

This week the Buzz is building, moving and serving up a slice of . . . grilled chicken white pizza?

Really, Maine?

First up: Changes on Center Street.

O’Reilly Auto Parts is moving into VIP Tires & Service’s location at 128 Center St. and expanding its offerings while VIP is moving directly behind that building with a new 10,600-square-foot store.

It will have “eight new service bays with state-of-the-art equipment, including a new Hunter Hawkeye Elite alignment machine and Hunter Quick Tread machine,” according to a spokeswoman. “The building is designed to give customers maximum exposure (viewing) of the service operation from the new showroom and customer waiting areas. There will be a laptop bar and beverage area within the showroom.”

And, making the employees say ahh: “Another unique feature of the new eight bays is its totally air conditioned space, something very unique in the automotive aftermarket but we know our certified technicians will love it.”


The project received a city permit for a $100,000 fit-up in May. The opening for the new VIP is tentatively slated for late this year or early next.


Other developments on both sides of the river, first in Auburn:

• John Reid’s new gun shop at 989 Minot Ave. is continuing to take shape with a new permit for a 40- by 60-foot building, a $350,000 project.

• An $80,000 remodel at 386 Minot Ave. with owner Normand Robert converting open space to four apartments.

• A $65,000 addition at 15 Drummond Court, adding 1,500 square feet to a building at Keener Self Storage.


• A $50,000 project on 823 Washington St. North converting a space for cannabis retail and growing for Future Equity.

• A $2 million project that’s part of NexAmp’s incoming 6.5-megawatt solar array at 1115 Riverside Drive.

That project was approved last year and estimated at the time as a $16 million investment.

Eric Cousens, the city’s director of planning and permitting, said Monday that it still is.

“In an effort to be reasonable and consistent with other communities, the building permit was calculated based only on the costs of the improvements that required permitting under the building code, essentially the posts and frames that will support the panels themselves and not the other elements,” he said.

And in Lewiston:


• A $232,779 renovation at 415 Lisbon St. for Lepage Bakery, renovating 4,672 square feet on the fourth floor.

• An $80,000 project pouring a new 253- by 108-foot concrete pad at 38 Alfred Plourde Parkway for Resource Waste Services.

• An $80,000 renovation project at Lewiston Church of the Brethren at 2 Shawmut St., removing towers and working on masonry and roof repairs.

Map by Zippia.com


Marketing website Zenreach says it’s run the numbers and found foot traffic to pizza shops across the U.S. is up 49% since January and as much as 156% in cities like Los Angeles.

It only broke larger metro areas out of the number for individual highlights, so, barring that, let’s look at Zippia’s pizza stats compiled last fall for National Pizza Month.

Relying on data from Yelp and Eat24, Zippia found Maine’s state fave was grilled chicken white pizza, the only state in the country with that top pick.

It also found Maine had the 19th most pizza places per capita.

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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