Lewiston-Auburn Offers Tremendous Business Opportunities

Lewiston-Auburn has really seen a resurgence over the last several years, quickly becoming a desirable destination for new and expanding businesses, as well as new residential development.

Downtown Lewiston, especially Lisbon Street and the Bates Mill complex, led the charge in revitalizing what was once thought of as a rundown mill town into what is now a thriving urban area featuring great restaurants, Maine breweries, retailers and other small businesses. In the heart of this area sits the Hartley Block, sure to play an essential role in the downtown’s renaissance.

Business Opportunities Abound

Lewiston-Auburn is one of Maine’s largest demographic centers and is growing by leaps and bounds. Named one of the country’s Top 20 Cities to Retire as well as Top 20 Cities for Safety, L/A offers tremendous opportunities for businesses as the cost of commercial space remains both accessible and affordable. Unlike Portland where vacancy rates are hovering around 2% and costs average $20-$30/sq.ft., L/A can offer similar quality of space with new development and redevelopment such as the Hartley Block, with costs averaging $10-$12/sq.ft.

Investors and business looking to open a new venture, or established businesses interested in expanding with a second or third operation, have another Southern Maine market with great potential and much more affordable prices. The lower costs associated with a move to L/A means less risk, but considerable reward. Landlords remain eager to work with new businesses to accommodate the needs and goals of new tenants, making negotiations much less one-sided, and can experience a job market excited about new jobs. L/A is a proven test market for many familiar businesses including Portland Pie Company, Forage, Baxter & Bear Bones Brewing, several new restaurants, and even a pilot program funded through Walt Disney!

As with any commercial renaissance, residential housing development has followed suit, with new, efficient and affordable units being offered in the market to accommodate the expanding workforce and population influx accordingly.

Downtown Lewiston-Auburn now offers options for working, eating out, shopping and living like never before, at a considerably greater profit margins for businesses exploring this new market.

 The Hartley Block

The four adjacent historic buildings that comprise the Hartley Block at 145-177 Lisbon Street were destroyed by fire over a decade ago, and sat in vacant disarray for many years. In 2016, Portland-based developer, The Szanton Company, obtained the property and began plans for a mixed-use redevelopment project. Since then the site has evolved to offer 63 residential units in the upper floors, and approximately 4,000 sq.ft. of retail or restaurant space on the first floor.

The mixed-use project’s new residential units will offer market as well as lower-income options, aimed at diversity and affordability to accommodate the growing community. This new housing will feature a fitness center, storage and adjacent covered parking – all within easy walking distance to the public library, major public parks, shopping and local eateries.

The first floor, envisioned to be a retail or restaurant operation, remains available to round out this exciting project. The Szanton Company is very willing to work with the new business, eager to customize the location to suite the tenant’s specific needs. This tenant will open with ready-made customers living above the space, in addition to being featured in a central, downtown location.

Magnusson Balfour is delighted to be part of the exceptional real estate offerings in The Hartley Block. Commercial space is currently available for lease. Please contact Raynor Large  or Dustin Boutin for more information.

For additional property data and leasing details, you may download the brochure here.