January 22—For the Buzz II, let’s look ahead.
First things first: it’s crystal ball time.
Frank Carr, senior vice president and associate broker at Maine Realty Advisors, presented the Lewiston-Auburn area’s outlook for 2022 on Thursday at the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s annual forecast conference.
His presentation noted relatively steady growth in office space last year, expected residential growth, and industrial space that benefited from the growing marijuana market.
For 2022, Carr predicts office movement when the University of Southern Maine resumes its downtown search and apartment rents rise locally for office space.
On the residential front, the region is seeing more high-end investment as it pays off, he said on Friday.
“Lewiston-Auburn markets are starting to support these higher rents, which attract developers to develop products,” Carr said. “As the number of residences increases, we will start to see other developers develop exciting products like first-floor retail with restaurants and the vitality that brings Lewiston and Auburn back to life.”
Among the highest sales recorded for the past year:
– Grandview Apartments at 1172 and 1176 Lisbon St. in Lewiston, which sold for $3.4 million in December.
– 410 Center St. in Auburn, home to the Chipotle and Firehouse submarines, which sold for $2.8 million in April.
– And, Dollar General’s home at 1079 Sabattus St., which sold for $1.7 million at the end of 2020.
Noah Stebbins and Nick Lucas of The Boulos Co. and Clayton Larochelle of Fontaine Family were part of the sale of Grandview Apartments from Maine Equity Holdings & PTSL Family Trust to buyer EFT Realty.
Stebbins said Friday the 37-unit apartment complex and a three-bedroom home on the property have 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 multi-family properties in the Lewiston-Auburn area.”
His own forecast for the coming year: “We anticipate strong demand in 2022 for multi-family properties in Lewiston-Auburn, and would not be surprised to see new construction projects to address the housing shortage in both cities. .”
The Lewiston Planning Board is meeting Monday night to consider an application to rezone part of 1046 Main St. to allow commercial use of marijuana.
It was originally scheduled to be heard on January 10 and rescheduled. By then, four to five people had reached out to the city with concern, city planner Doug Greene said.
“Concerns regarding marijuana use raised were: possible odor, not sought after in the neighborhood, OK with retail but no cultivation, expectations for other permitted commercial uses, negative impacts on surrounding residences “, said Greene.
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, which represents the Warners.
Past uses have included a lawn and garden center, golf cart sales and service, and an automobile dealership.
“Specifically, they are asking to allow as authorized use marijuana stores, cultivation, manufacturing, testing, nurseries and registered dispensaries at 1046 Main St.,” according to a memo from David Hediger, director of the planning and application of the code, to the Council.
Any future marijuana business there would still need a municipal license and undergo development review.
The planning committee should make a recommendation to the municipal council, which will make the final decision.