For the Buzz II, let’s look ahead.

First up: It’s crystal ball time.

Frank Carr, senior vice president and an associate broker at Maine Realty Advisors, gave the Lewiston-Auburn area 2022 outlook at the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s annual forecast conference Thursday.

His presentation noted relatively flat growth for office space last year, planned residential growth and industrial space that benefited from the growing marijuana market.

For 2022, Carr forecast office movement when the University of Southern Maine resumes its search downtown and flat rent increases locally for office space.

On the residential front, the area is seeing more high-end investment because it’s paying off, he said Friday.

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“The markets in Lewiston-Auburn are starting to support those higher rents, which are attracting developers to develop product,” Carr said. “With the higher residential numbers, we’ll start to see other developers developing the exciting products like first-floor retail with restaurants and the vitality that brings Lewiston and Auburn back to life.”

Among the highest sales noted for the past year:

• Grandview Apartments at 1172 and 1176 Lisbon St. in Lewiston, which sold for $3.4 million in December.

• The four-unit 410 Center St. in Auburn, home to Chipotle and Firehouse Subs, which sold for $2.8 million in April.

• And, the home of Dollar General at 1079 Sabattus St., which sold for $1.7 million in late 2020.

Noah Stebbins and Nick Lucas at The Boulos Co. and Clayton Larochelle at Fontaine Family were part of the Grandview Apartments sale from Maine Equity Holdings & PTSL Family Trust to buyer E.F.T Realty.

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Stebbins said Friday that the 37-unit apartment complex and a three-bedroom home on the property had been family-owned and operated for more than 40 years.

“The seller sold because she realized the market was hot and she was ready to move on and focus on her other investment properties,” he said. “The new owner is an investor who owns several multifamily properties in the Lewiston-Auburn area.”

His own forecast for the coming year: “We expect to see strong demand in 2022 for multifamily properties in Lewiston-Auburn, and wouldn’t be surprised to see some new construction projects to combat the housing shortage in both cities.”

Scot and Laurianne Warner, who own the property at 1046 Main St. in Lewiston, home of L&S Windows, propose to establish a marijuana business there. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

AND LOOKING AHEAD TO MONDAY

The Lewiston Planning Board is meeting Monday night to consider a request to rezone part of 1046 Main St. to allow marijuana business use.

It was originally due to be heard Jan. 10 and postponed. At that time, four to five people had reached out to the city with concerns, City Planner Doug Greene said.

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“The concerns for the marijuana use raised were: possible odor, not wanted in the neighborhood, OK with retail but not a grow, expectations for other business uses that are allowed, negative impacts to the surrounding residences,” Greene said.

The 2.3-acre property with two buildings is owned by Scot and Laurianne Warner. The first 180 feet back from Main Street has conditional zoning that limits it to 24 specific uses, according to a memo from SurveyWorks, who represents the Warners.

Past uses have included a lawn and garden center, golf cart sales and service and an auto dealership.

“Specifically, they are requesting to allow as a permitted use marijuana stores, marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, testing, nurseries and registered dispensaries at 1046 Main St.,” according to a memo from David Hediger, director of planning and code enforcement, to the board.

Any future marijuana business there would still need a city license and undergo development review.

The Planning Board is expected to make a recommendation to the City Council, which will ultimately decide.

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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