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Updated: September 6, 2021

Buyers of three downtown Lewiston buildings envision retail and restaurants

buildings and street Courtesy / Magnusson Balfour Commercial and Business Brokers The century-old buildings at 160 Lisbon St., left, and 168 Lisbon, part of the Lewiston Commercial Historic District, are viewed as excellent redevelopment prospects.

Three Portland friends who have been doing some real estate investment in recent years joined together again to buy three adjoining buildings in Lewiston, with an eye toward sprucing them up and attracting customer-facing tenants.

Adam Cope, Eli Small and Tom Jordan bought 152, 160 and 168 Lisbon St. from 168-152 Lisbon of Lewiston Associates LLC for $450,000. 

Craig Church and Dustin Boutin of Magnusson Balfour Commercial and Business Brokers and Chris Paszyc and Joseph Italiaander of the Boulos Co. brokered the transaction.

Altogether, the buildings comprise about 38,000 square feet: 152 Lisbon is a two-story corner building; 160 and 168 Lisbon are three stories. The buildings are part of the Lewiston Commercial Historic District: 152 Lisbon, comprising 6,160 square feet, was built in 1866; 160 Lisbon, 13,068 square feet, was built in 1901; and 168 Lisbon, 15,576 square feet, dates back to 1887. 

building and street
Courtesy / Magnusson Balfour Commercial and Business Brokers
The building at 160 Lisbon St. dates back to 1901.

The building at 160 Lisbon is known locally as the “second McGillicuddy Block.” According to the city’s Historic Preservation Review Board, it was built by an Irish immigrant named John McGillicuddy, who was a contractor and grocer. The structure housed Bliss Business College for many years.

The first building that bears McGillicuddy's name went up at 133 Lisbon St. in 1895.

Attractive list price

“We’re all local Portland guys,” Cope told Mainebiz.

The three went to high school together. Cope and Small partnered a few years ago on a residential development, purchased a pizza restaurant called Corsetti’s in Westbrook and subsequently opened Brookside Food and Drink next door.

Jordan works for Hancock Lumber and Small runs Corsetti’s and Brookside, which will be expanded, said Cope.

For the past 20 years or so, Cope has worked with his father, Portland attorney Steven Cope, on small development projects in and around Portland.

The three look for new opportunities all the time and came upon the Lisbon Street listings, said Cope. 

“The purchase price was super attractive,” he said. 

They financed the purchase with a loan from Biddeford Savings Bank and will likely finance renovations with cash, he said.

Seeking tenants

corner building
Courtesy / Magnusson Balfour Commercial and Business Brokers
The two-story corner building at 152 Lisbon St. dates back to 1866.

The buildings were occupied by a single tenant, Deluxe Corp., a century-old financial services company headquartered in Minnesota, according to its website. Deluxe was due to move out Aug. 31, said Cope.

“We’ll be going in shortly after that with fit-up plans,” he said.

The goal is to find tenants for the upper stories that might include residential as well as office users. “Everything we’ve heard is that there’s a strong need for residential."

For the ground-floor spaces, Cope and his partners are looking for businesses that will help “reenergize” that section of Lisbon Street, he continued.

“We’re looking to have retail, restaurants perhaps,” he said.

The plan is to host an open house in mid-October. 

“The idea is to get prospective tenants looking at it,” he said.

The partners have also been introducing themselves to city planners and to local organizations, such as the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Lewiston Association.

“I think people are interested in that downtown area,” he said. “It’s the, ‘If you build it, they will come’ concept and we hope to be on the front end of that. Everyone we’ve spoken to has a very positive outlook and is excited and there’s good energy.”

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