LEWISTON, Maine — The city of Lewiston is preparing for a major revitalization project in one of its most populated neighborhoods.
"It's a distressed neighborhood," Lewiston's assistant director of community and economic development Misty Parker said. "We haven't had a lot of significant investment in that neighborhood in decades."
In 2021, Lewiston was awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help revitalize the Tree Streets neighborhood.
"That entire neighborhood will be transformed and it'll also be [a] wonderful thing for our city," Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline said.
Over the last year, city staff and other community partners have been working to finalize project plans in order to begin work soon. In total, the city hopes to create 185 new or refurbished housing units.
"We are preparing final construction plans, final site plans and hope to be in front of the planning board this summer to get the first phase approved," Parker said.
The first phase, which Parker hopes to break ground with this summer, will be in the area of Pine, Pierce, and Walnut Streets at the site known as the Wedgewood site. City officials say a historic rehabilitation is planned for the building currently standing there, as well as the construction of seven additional buildings in the area.
"Safe housing that's lead free will be absolutely wonderful for our kids," Mayor Sheline said.
There is also another housing project planned for 40 Pine Street, across from Kennedy Park.
Parker says the investment by the city into the Tree Streets is also spurring other developers to want to build in town.
"Our $30 million is going to leverage up to $100 million of additional investment in that neighborhood in the next five years," Parker said.
Lewiston is hosting an education forum about the revitalization initiative on May 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lewiston Public Library. If you're unable to attend, you can view the forum on the city's YouTube page.
You can stay up to date with the latest developments that are a part of the Tree Streets project here.