Jul. 22—It's a two-Buzz week with a development at a former Happy Meal spot in Lewiston, a happy businessperson wanted in Sabattus and people likely happy their projects got approved unanimously in Auburn.
First up: Emerald River Maine is ceremonially breaking ground this week on a $1 million, 2,700-square-foot recreational cannabis retail store at 1240 Lisbon St., the former home of McDonald's, right off Exit 80.
The project was first announced last September with President Matt Taggart saying the company had been drawn to Lewiston by its historic mills and redevelopment activity.
Taggart said this week that he's "absolutely loved" working with Gendron & Gendron on the project. Construction should start soon and he hopes to see the store open in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The former McDonald's first opened on the site in the 1966, just the third location in Maine, according to Taggart, and closed in 2009 when a new McDonald's was built just down the road. The building came down in 2014.
The store, Emerald River Maine's first of several planned and its anticipated flagship, could eventually employ 14 to 16 people.
"We will be delivering a branded shopping experience and plan to become a destination point that the city of Lewiston can be proud of," Taggart said in a news release. "We hope Lewiston residents are as excited as we are for the re-creation of the vacant lot that is 1240 Lisbon St."
The Auburn Planning Board last week unanimously approved an $8 million project for Kittyhawk Avenue and rezoning for a future business on Stevens Mill Road, according to Director of Planning and Permitting Eric Cousens.
The Kittyhawk project is a 66,715-square-foot warehouse, distribution facility and showroom for F.W. Webb Co., which specializes in plumbing, heating and refrigeration.
The location could employ as many as 38 people in the next five to 10 years, according to an application to the board.
There were "lots of compliments from the board on the F.W. Webb project design and shared access," Cousens said.
Construction could start as soon as next month and wrap up next summer.
At 41 Stevens Mills Road, owner BJ Grondin asked the board for a zoning change from suburban residential to general business II with the aim of building a personal training studio on a spot that had housed a hair salon for 30-plus years, according to a memo by City Planner Megan Norwood.
Businesses change hands all the time, but not always with such specifics:
When the owner of Front Porch Bakery at 136 Sabattus Road in Sabattus announced the shop was going up for sale in a Facebook post, it began, "Sometimes our journeys shift."
"Will work with new owner to have a smooth transition. Space is great for other ideas with an awesome landlord. Beautiful little town and the best customers. Will NOT sell to a grouchy person."
A message for comment this week from the Sun Journal wasn't returned — hopefully the bakery's too busy fielding happy candidates.
The shop has had new ownership since January 2020 and is continuing to take orders, according to the post.