Good things for L/A are happening on both sides of Androscoggin River

BY Peter Van Allen


Lewiston's downtown redevelopment is not necessarily a new story.

Indeed, changes on Lisbon Street have been slow and organic. But the businesses that have opened, the investment that's been made and the enthusiasm shown by those that have put skin in the game is noteworthy, as our cover story by Senior Writer Laurie Schreiber indicates.

A name we've been hearing a lot recently is Dianna Pozdniakov, who is on the cover with her husband and co-developer, Kevin Morin. She was the subject of an On the Record interview for her work as a handbag designer at Sofia Fima. She was later in the Real Estate Insider for work in Lewiston. And now she's key to a story with broader context about Lewiston's redevelopment. To top it off, Dianna made a guest appearance in the Mainebiz offices this week not long before the issue went to press. She and her husband were architects in New York but found in Lewiston fulfilling work that could help improve the city. (Story starts on Page 14.)

If you need proof of the transformation underway in Lewiston, check out pictures of an old fire station that's about to be renovated for residential and commercial space. The building isn't much to look at on the Google street view. But, as depicted in a rendering by Caleb Johnson Studio, the site will bring energy to another neighborhood in Lewiston. (See Page 13.)

For another example of outside investment, look no further than Bates Mill. A year ago, a San Francisco company, Grand Rounds, which works with companies that self-insure on health care, gave another shot of momentum to Lewiston. Senior Writer Renee Cordes visits with Meryl Fogg, Lewiston site coordinator for Grand Rounds. Fogg is a Yarmouth native who worked for J.P. Morgan in Chicago before joining Grand Rounds to help establish the Maine operations. The company has made a significant investment and hired 80 and plans to be at 100 by the end of summer. (See Page 21.)

Across the Androscoggin River, the Auburn-Lewiston Airport is investing in upgrades and is primed to work closely with companies in the business and industrial parks. As Staff Writer Maureen Milliken reports, the airport is investing in upgrades not to chase the elusive passenger flights, but to improve the airport for businesses and private planes. The 600-acre airport site dovetails nicely with industrial and business parks in the immediate area. One notable user is UPS, which has a customer service site in Auburn. The shipping company has nine flights a week that depart the airport. Its proximity on Flightline Drive, adjacent to the airport, “enables the latest possible cutoff time for drop-offs prior to the evening flight,” Jim Mayer, a spokesman for UPS Airlines, said. (See Page 18.)