Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

June 12, 2023

Affordable and market-rate rentals at Lewiston development lauded as 'crucial initiative'

rendering of big brick building and cars Courtesy / The Szanton Co. The 72-unit Picker House Lofts is expected to open in early 2025.

The Szanton Co., a Portland-based housing developer, broke ground last week on redevelopment of Continental Mill’s historic picker house as Picker House Lofts, a 72-unit mixed income apartment project. 

The Picker House is a 79,000-square-foot building built in the center of the Continental Mill complex, the rest of which is owned by New Hampshire-based Chinburg Properties. Rents for the workforce units will range from approximately $700 to $1,100. The market rents are expected to range from $1,050 to $1,450. Heat and hot water, off-street parking and wi-fi will be included in the rent.

“Increasing affordable housing is such a crucial initiative right now for our city and our state,” Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline said. "The new Picker House development at the Continental Mill is an essential step to addressing this issue while also repurposing empty mill space.”

Development cost for the project is estimated to be $28.5 million. Financing will be delivered through a $4.5 million, affordable housing tax credits provided through MaineHousing that are expected to drive about $8 million in equity , and  state and federal historic investment tax credits that are expected to drive about $9.7 million in equity.

The groundbreaking marked the beginning of a larger redevelopment of the complex.

Built in 1858 and located at 2 Cedar St. on the east bank of the Androscoggin River, the Picker House is the part of the Continental Mill complex, where impurities were picked out of cotton before it was run through textile-making machines elsewhere in the complex. 

“We are thrilled to be giving a new birth of life to this historic complex that’s played such a huge role in the history of Lewiston’s economy and people,” said Szanton Co. President Nathan Szanton. “It’s been sitting largely empty for decades, waiting for people to imagine something different for it.” 

The project will include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with a fitness center, roof deck, community room, laundry room, secure indoor bike storage and off-street parking.

Across the river is the Auburn Riverwalk, soon to be joined by Lewiston’s Riverwalk, to which the project has given rights along its 560 feet of river frontage.  

Speakers at the groundbreaking included Sheline; Maine Housing Director Dan Brennan, TD Bank Maine Market President Larry Wold, Evernorth President Nancy Owens, Coastal Enterprises Inc. Chief Investment Officer Daniel Wallace and Chinburg Vice President Geoff Spitzer.

Lewiston is experiencing a run of commercial development from the downtown to its outskirts – new retail and industrial activity, renovations and repurposing of historic buildings, new attractions pulling in local residents and visitors alike, and new and expanding manufacturers — from Obscura Cafe & Drinkery and mushroom substrate maker Maine Cap ‘N Stem Mushroom Co. to wholesale construction and engineering goods distributor F.W. Webb’s construction of a new 70,000-square-foot warehouse and showroom to the city’s housing redevelopment project in the downtown’s “Tree Streets” neighborhood.

In Lewiston, Szanton previously built the 48-unit Lofts at Bates Mill, which opened in 2012, and the mixed-use, 63-unit Hartley Block, which opened in 2019. 

Picker House Lofts is expected to open in early 2025.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF