Lewiston Maine Commercial Real Estate 2024 Market Update

Stebbins Noah  /   February 22, 2024

Lewiston-Auburn Commercial Real Estate Market Update: 2024

Noah Stebbins - Associate Broker at The Boulos Company



By Noah Stebbins | Broker




The Lewiston-Auburn commercial real estate market continued on an upward trajectory over the past year, with new commercial/residential development projects announced or in the works, exciting new retailers entering the market, strong industrial demand, and motivated city officials, aiming to transform their respective downtowns. Looking ahead, we expect commercial real estate fundamentals to remain robust through 2024, regardless of headwinds from the current economic climate.

Steadily rising interest rates, high construction costs, and access to contractors will lead to creative dealmaking. Value engineering will be key for new development projects, as developers reassess their capital stacks and use creative financing structures to push deals across the finish line.

The rising cost of homes and the need for additional residential units continue to be points of emphasis for the Twin Cities, as they are elsewhere in the state and the nation. In 2021, the city of Auburn set a goal of 2,000 new housing units by 2025, and fortunately, they are well on their way to achieving this goal. Since 2020, 350 new units have been developed, while roughly 160 units are under construction, and an additional 1,900 units are either in the pipeline or in discussion at the staff level.

Furthermore, the city of Auburn, in conjunction with the Boulos Company, has seven properties, either sold or pending, that will lead to 40–80 new housing units in vibrant, mixed-use buildings.

Auburn is working hard at the goal of transforming the downtown area into a bustling city center. One exciting new development in the works is 186 Main Street, a mixed-use property, featuring Mason’s Brewing opening in the first-floor retail space with market-rate apartments above.

Across the river, Lewiston is also doing its part to address the housing crisis. In 2020, the city received $30 million in federal funding through the Choice Neighborhoods grant program. The grant will be used to revitalize Lewiston’s downtown, with an emphasis on the Tree Streets neighborhood. The Lewiston Housing Authority (LHA), in partnership with Avesta Housing, will lead the development of 92 deteriorated HUDassisted residential properties, including Maple Knoll and Lafayette Park. The LHA also plans to develop an additional 93 workforce and market-rate units throughout these sites. 2 In 2024, the second phase of Lewiston’s Choice Neighborhood initiative will feature the construction of 104 residential units at 40–60 Pine Street. The development calls for two mixed-use buildings with commercial space on the first floor and a mix of one- and two-bedroom residential units.

On the retail front, several new and exciting businesses have expanded or have plans to enter the LewistonAuburn market. Notable retailers who have entered the Auburn market include Target, Olive Garden, ConvenientMD, OTTO Pizza, Luchador Tacos, and Five Guys. In Lewiston, Lisbon Street is proving to be the city’s hottest retail corridor, with a newly opened Starbucks, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen expecting to break ground sometime in 2024

Like other areas of the state, industrial buildings (especially 50,000± SF and above) continue to be in high demand, with record low vacancy rates and limited supply. Consequently, businesses are taking matters into their own hands. Procter & Gamble, located at 2879 Hotel Road in Auburn, has invested roughly $350 million into their plant since 2000, demonstrating their commitment to the city. According to Auburn’s director of economic development, Jay Brenchick, they are working on a $15 million, 47,000± SF, two-story addition, while last year, they began construction on a $15 million, 116,000± SF addition for production/warehouse space.

Agren Appliance recently broke ground on a $9.5 million distribution center on Adamian Drive, off Kittyhawk Avenue, adjacent to 1-95 Exit 75. The new distribution center will be roughly 51,000± SF, housing a 50-vehicle fleet and 60 workers.

In Lewiston, F.W. Webb recently completed the move of its wholesale location and Frank Webb Home showroom at 9 Lexington Street with a 70,000± SF expansion (almost double the size of its previous location), along with a 40-seat training room, slated to open in 2024.

Although 2024 will present challenges for the Lewiston-Auburn commercial real estate market, I predict that new housing units and business expansions will help address the workforce shortage and hopefully lead to much-needed affordable housing options as the inventory increases. Furthermore, I predict officials will continue to reassess their zoning ordinances to develop mutually beneficial solutions to encourage new development projects aimed at transforming both cities. Although projects will likely take longer to complete due to the high cost of borrowing, contractor availability, availability of materials, etc., it is important to note that the Twin Cities have motivated city officials who are willing to work in conjunction with developers, businesses, and nonprofit organizations, which is encouraging for 2024 and beyond.

Notable Multi-Family Development Projects (Among Others):


  • Developer A.R. Building is constructing 102 market-rate apartments with a 50/50 mix of 1 & 2 BR units.
  • The original plan was to develop 128 market-rate units, so this could be an
    example of value engineering, due to the high cost of construction and interest rates, while developers aim to re-work their return on investment.



  • Developer has plans for a three-story, Class A, 96-unit multi-family development
    project: Kittyhawk Apartments II (Tailwind Court).
  • Currently 24 units and the developer has plans to construct an additional 24 units for a total of 48 units.



  • 60 units with plans to build an additional 60 units (24 units currently
    under construction)



  • City officials expect an application in December for the construction of 48 to 60 units.


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