Place Ste. Marie apartment complex at 64 & 74 Oxford St. has been purchased by Barisa Ventures of Brooklyn, New York. The company plans a multimillion-dollar renovation of the property. Submitted photo

LEWISTON — Brisa Ventures, a New York investment and development firm based in Brooklyn, acquired Place Ste. Marie this week, a 40-unit affordable housing apartment complex on Oxford Street, for an undisclosed price.

It is the first acquisition for the company in Maine, although it has an extensive history as an affordable housing developer in and around New York City and Massachusetts.

Co-owner of Brisa Ventures, Hammad Graham, said the apartment complex will remain an affordable housing unit but will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation and upgrade beginning in the summer. “Our goal is to improve the lives of the existing tenants,” Graham said, “so we do not want to displace folks.”

Graham said they were aware of the complex’s somewhat checkered past and their intent is to change that. A new property management firm has been hired to take over operations of the apartments and Platz & Associates of Auburn is working on plans for the renovation work.

Graham said the goal is to take it through the next stage of its life cycle with different ownership and different management. “The goal,” he said, “is to kind of stabilize the property.”

Graham said the work will consist of extensive interior renovations, including new flooring, new kitchens, bathrooms and fixtures, along with enhanced security measures, including improved exterior lighting and a camera system throughout the development.

Brisa said the renovation will have a historic consistency in repairing the building facade. The company is in the early stages of certifying Place Ste. Marie as a contributing structure to the Continental Mill Historic & Lewiston and Water Power System Historic District, with Part I approvals coming from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and the National Park Service.

The developer said it will also be upgrading the outdoor space with a play area and small playground, fixed barbecue grills, bike racks, benches, a small resident garden and beautification of the outdoor common spaces.

The renovations and upgrades are expected to take six to eight months.

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