Ellicott project nearing completion

Bike riders Luke Montivello, right, Ben LaPresta, center and Rielly McGill, all 14 and from Lewiston, enjoy a stop at the new Tim Hortons while riding recently through the village. The coffee shop franchise is part of the Ellicott Development project on Eighth and Center streets, a project which also includes retail and office space, a restaurant space, and 12 apartments, all expected to be completed by late summer or early fall. 

LEWISTON — A dozen new apartments will be available for lease in late summer, when Ellicott Development anticipates the completion of its project at Eighth and Center streets in the village.

The second-floor apartments, which will include elevator access, are mostly two bedrooms with one bath and will be about 1,300 square feet, according to Tom Fox director of development for Ellicott Development.  

There will be in-unit laundry facilities, walk-in closets in the bedrooms, and upscale finishes including custom cabinets, quartz countertops, and stainless steel appliances, typical of the development company, Fox said.

"We generally do a little higher level finishes than we're finding others are doing," he noted.

The apartments are expected to be market-rate priced. There will also be a one-bedroom unit and a studio apartment available when leasing begins.

Below the apartments, is a sizeable commercial space, Fox said, with more than 14,000 square feet suitable for a restaurant or retail space. 

Construction on the project, consisting of three buildings, was held up by the COVID-19 pause and other pandemic-related challenges, but was partially completed in December when a Tim Hortons opened in one of the two buildings that front Center Street. Quest Diagnostics has also leased space in a front building and more retail/office space is available for lease including an additional 5,400 square-foot restaurant space on Center Street.

Ellicott Development purchased the 4.1-acre parcel on Center Street in 2012. The project was slowed then by concerns voiced by some about its impact on local businesses, but it appears the community is more accepting now that the project is nearing completion.

"There was a lot of opposition from the community at first, but I think that people are pretty happy now that they can see what we're building," said William Paladino, CEO of Ellicott Development.  

Paladino added that Mayor Anne Welch and village board members have been very supportive of the project, but Welsh said recently that she understood why some people worried when plans were first announced.

"Sometimes change is hard for people when they can't visualize what it's going to be like," she explained, adding that the development company took a piece of property that was overgrown for years and built "a beautiful plaza there."

"I’ve heard people say, 'Wow, it really turned out nice,' " she said, adding that even a village devoted to preserving its history can benefit from such a project.

"It brings people into the village to see what other businesses we have," she noted. "You still have to have progress to stay alive."

Along with the modern mixed-use project at Eighth and Center streets, Ellicott Development is also restoring the historic Frontier House on Center Street.

In May, the village board approved final restoration plans. The development company is in the process of completing its applications for approval of historic tax credit designations by state and local agencies, before beginning work on the project. The restoration, planned to honor the building's original exterior, will feature 11 apartments in the 300-400 square foot range, and will likely be built for short-term vacation rentals rather than long-term leases, Fox said. 

Work on the nearly 200-year-old Frontier House will begin following the approvals of the historic tax credits, which are anticipated to take about three months to obtain.

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