An architect’s rendering shows the approved 172-unit building at 3 Lowell St., which will be constructed just across the street from Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque’s recently approved 150-unit building. City of Lewiston

LEWISTON — The Planning Board unanimously approved a second mixed-use apartment building this week on Lowell and Middle streets near Central Maine Medical Center.

This time, the board approved a 172-unit building at 3 Lowell St., which will be constructed across the street from Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque’s recently approved 150-unit building at 55 Middle St. Both buildings will feature market rate studio, one bedroom and two-bedroom apartments with ground floor commercial space, and utilize the nearby Chapel Street garage — also owned by Levesque — for parking.

According to city staff, the City Council will now be asked to approve a credit enhancement agreement with building two developer Joe Mannisto, similar to one approved by the council for Levesque’s building earlier this month.

That agreement will reimburse the developer 52% of the new taxes paid on the project over the first 10 years. In year 11, 50% of the taxes paid will be reimbursed, and then the reimbursement level will be reduced 5% annually in years 12 through 20.

Both buildings will be six stories and constructed on what are now surface parking lots. The developers are also working with the city to bury overhead utilities and make pedestrian and streetscape improvements.

A memo said the developers have had preliminary discussions with the city and Central Maine Power regarding moving power underground.


Kaleb Bourassa, a project manager for civil engineers Gorrill Palmer, said Monday that another Middle Street parcel may be developed in the future. Levesque previously told the Sun Journal that he’s also working on plans to convert at least some of the Peck building into housing.

The only statement made during the public hearing Monday was from Lincoln Jeffers, Lewiston’s director of economic and community development.

He said the overall project “is a way to transform a neighborhood that has largely been forgotten.”

He said the properties have been used for surface parking for more than 20 years, and that it would be “really reclaiming an area of the city that’s simply parking.”

“My hat’s off to the developers for bringing this forward,” he said.

The 172 units approved Monday adds to several recently-approved housing projects in Lewiston, including Levesque’s plan, senior housing at Martel School and an approved contract zone for a 55-plus development off Farwell Street.

The redevelopment of the area would also be located directly behind Island Point, an area of the city that is eyed for future redevelopment in the newly-updated Riverfront Island Master Plan. The city plans to use captured value from an omnibus TIF district toward related improvements.

Planning Board member Josh Nagine said Monday that the city should use the redevelopment in its negotiations on dam relicensing on Island Point to guarantee river access.

According to a memo, the 172-unit building is required to provide 129 parking spaces. The garage at 26 Chapel St. has a total of 590 spaces, with the previously approved 55 Middle St. having been allocated 113 spaces in the garage.

Both six-story apartment buildings recently approved by the Lewiston Planning Board will be erected on what are now surface parking lots along Lowell and Middle streets. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

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