Lewiston, Maine's second largest city.

Portlander

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Felt that Lewiston finally deserved it's own thread. Today the city revealed it's new marketing logo. The bricks, keystone and color combination were designed to represent the city's industrial heritage and is also a nod to the "brick meets sky" theme. The new brand identity was achieved through participation between businesses, city staff, community leaders, residents and outside perspectives.
 
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Portlander

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Not much love for Lewiston on this site, the city is trying to change it's image but the transformation will take time.
 

Portlander

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I agree that it was a limited project as far as it's design elements but it did at least fill a long neglected vacant lot in the center of downtown.
 

nomc

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I like how it goes right up to the street and has storefronts at the base, but the way they try to imitate the depth of older buildings by changing the colors looks sooooo gross.
Yeah, what's the justification for this?
 

nomc

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Seems like Lewiston is trying to build some momentum - a few recent Lewiston items:

Planned housing development at Lewiston mill moves closer to groundbreaking

"The project, called Picker House Lofts, will convert a 79,000-square-foot, L-shaped building at 2 Cedar St., in the center of the complex. It was built in 1858. The plan is to create 46 units of workforce housing and 26 units of market-rate housing comprised of a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, for a total of 72 units overall."

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Lewiston looks at Armory overhaul as semipro basketball prepares to tip off

"Among the changes planned are improvements to the balcony seating area and restrooms, creation of 15,000 square feet of locker rooms, office additions, installation of new heating and ventilation systems, and cosmetic enhancements."

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Lewiston is moving towards selecting a consultant to update the Riverfront Island Master Plan (from 2012)

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Avesta and Lewiston Housing Authority have partnered on three phases of housing (I believe all in the Tree Streets neighborhood?) funded by a Choice grant. Phase 1 is Choice Wedgewood Block (guided by the Growing Our Tree Streets development plan, 2019) and will create 74 homes on 14 parcels. Looking for PB approval in Feb 2022, construction hopefully begins in Oct 2022.

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Looks like the other two (potential) phases are the Martel School (44 units) and Choice Dewitt (71 units).

Martel:

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There are other projects (9 unit, 19 unit, etc...) moving through the planning process.
 

Arlington

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What is "the business" of Lewiston? Like we'd say:
Portland has all the "biggest city" functions (airport, federal court, big hospital, financial services)
Bangor has the "regional hub" functions (small airport, small federal court that covers the State Capital; seasonal leisure)

What special role does (should?) Lewiston play?
 

nomc

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Largely I'm not sure there is "a business". If anything I would say it's a regional hub - has a relatively large hospital, some retail and industrial away from downtown (there may even be industrial left in downtown?), an airport even smaller than Bangor. It also has Bates College. Also important to note that Lewiston is often paired with Auburn which is across the river (ie LA) much in the way that Saco and Biddeford are also sometimes paired. Lewiston and Biddeford are similar in other respects too. Biddeford is further down the road at something I think Lewiston wants (and has tried to get) which is renovating the mills and drawing restaurants and mom and pop retail into downtown. That's been happening in Biddeford for awhile but largely not in Lewiston save for a few places - Davinci's has in the mills for awhile, Forage Market, Baxter Brewing Co, etc... The main difference between Lewiston and Biddeford is that Lewiston has a significant refugee population - something that is heavily worked into the Growing Our Tree Streets development plan mentioned above.

This is just my $0.02 as a non resident - hopefully someone can provide a better answer.
 

Tom Nevers

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What is "the business" of Lewiston? Like we'd say:
Portland has all the "biggest city" functions (airport, federal court, big hospital, financial services)
Bangor has the "regional hub" functions (small airport, small federal court that covers the State Capital; seasonal leisure)

What special role does (should?) Lewiston play?
Prior to COVID, there was a healthy cluster of insurance and back end banking operations in the Bates Mill. Those workers supported nearby restaurants and Baxter Brewing.

Lewiston might be the co-op capitol of Maine. It would be really cool if they built on that. See the RAISE-OP housing co-op, the farm co-op mentioned a few posts up, and Health Options which is part of the CO—OP program authorized by the ACA for examples.

It goes without saying Lewiston is a regional medical hub and that Bates provides outside dollars and cultural amenities.

I’ve heard people suggest Lewiston is the gateway to the hills or mountains but that doesn’t ring true to me. Mt. Apatite is the only hilly hike you can bike to and there aren’t others that are easily (within 30 minutes) accessed by transit or even in a car.

Based on articles in the SJ and MaineBiz, it seems like Auburn has positioned itself as a major center for cannabis cultivation. Maybe this is also true of Lewiston?
 

nomc

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I’ve heard people suggest Lewiston is the gateway to the hills or mountains but that doesn’t ring true to me. Mt. Apatite is the only hilly hike you can bike to and there aren’t others that are easily (within 30 minutes) accessed by transit or even in a car
There's also Lost Valley, but I agree it doesn't feel like a gateway to the mountains.
 

markhb

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Based on articles in the SJ and MaineBiz, it seems like Auburn has positioned itself as a major center for cannabis cultivation. Maybe this is also true of Lewiston?
Auburn is geographically huge, IIRC over 60 square miles, and once you get away from downtown and Route 4 there's a lot of rural space. I believe there's very little undeveloped land in Lewiston, which is much smaller.

Auburn-Lewiston Airport, while it was never large, really dried up after it lost Essential Air Service funding for being too close to PWM.

I also heard many years ago that New Gloucester, which sits between Auburn and Gray, was a center of cannabis production long before legalization. Just something I heard, mind you.
 

mainejeff

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Lewiston is the only major Maine city not on the 95/295/95 transportation spine of Maine. That makes it a bit "out of the way" for most people that don't depend on L/A as a regional business hub.
 

nomc

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Lewiston is the only major Maine city not on the 95/295/95 transportation spine of Maine. That makes it a bit "out of the way" for most people that don't depend on L/A as a regional business hub.
95 runs right through the middle of both Lewiston and Auburn - but if you mean 95/295 is not close to either downtown then you would be correct. With either city it isn't a quick/easy stop for people traveling north.
 

markhb

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95 runs right through the middle of both Lewiston and Auburn - but if you mean 95/295 is not close to either downtown then you would be correct. With either city it isn't a quick/easy stop for people traveling north.
I believe he was referring to the idea that, while 95 is the relevant (only Interstate) route south of Portland and north of Gardiner, most traffic between those points nowadays uses 295 via Brunswick, rather than the Turnpike through L/A. But yes, the Pike is also circuitous going past those cities.
 

mainejeff

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95 runs right through the middle of both Lewiston and Auburn - but if you mean 95/295 is not close to either downtown then you would be correct. With either city it isn't a quick/easy stop for people traveling north.
Wait....95 ends in Augusta?
 

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