June 20, 2018
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Wal-Mart face-lift among Lincoln updates

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

LINCOLN, Maine — Wal-Mart apparently will not turn its West Broadway site into a Supercenter anytime soon, but the store will undergo an interior renovation in April, its manager said Monday.

The renovation announced by Town Manager Lisa Goodwin was confirmed Monday by store manager Laura Donovan, who said she didn’t know the extent of the renovation.

“I’m not sure yet because it’s in the preliminary stages,” Donovan said Monday. “We just put on a new roof because it was deteriorating. We’ve also moved a lot of things around in the store recently, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the renovation.”

Donovan referred comment to the chain’s Bangor store, which referred comment to Wal-Mart’s corporate offices on Monday.

Goodwin and Ruth Birtz, the town’s economic development assistant, said that Wal-Mart officials recently told them that the renovation would be extensive, allowing the store to vastly increase its food-sale offerings, without killing their plans to eventually raze the structure to build a Supercenter.

“This is going to be among their temporary modifications until they build the new store. The intent of the new store was to build a full grocery and keep the department store end of it,” Birtz said Monday. “That will start to happen with this renovation.”

No timeline has been set on the store expansion.

The announced renovation is the first sign of growth at the town Wal-Mart since a proposed expansion there was put on hold in June 2008 by a corporate restructuring at the massive retail chain.

Announced in December 2006, Wal-Mart’s $2.07 million plan calls for tearing down the existing 55,000-square-foot Wal-Mart and creating a 24-hour, 99,000-square-foot building on about 21 acres at the store’s location at 250 West Broadway.

The existing Wal-Mart is the Lincoln Lakes’ and Katahdin region’s largest single retail outlet.

The expansion was seen as the key to Lincoln becoming a more dominant retail center and also becoming a location for more big-box outlets. It was supposed to create about 175 new full- and part-time jobs.

The announced renovation is among several face-lifts or new construction occurring in Lincoln, Goodwin said. The others include:

— A $200,000 apartment building proposed for Marietta Drive near Wal-Mart. As proposed by owner Sterling “Boody” Osgood, the eight apartment units would each be 750 square feet and have 1½ bedrooms.

“If anything, the weather’s my biggest adversary,” Osgood said Monday. “I just want to finalize some items with my contractor. I am pretty excited about it.”

Osgood, who said he does not need a construction or zoning permit for the building, hopes to start pouring the building’s concrete pad within a few months, before cold weather sets in.

— A renovation to the Timberhouse Restaurant, 1 Fleming St., in which the building’s exterior is getting redone.

— The Planning Board was also due to review Monday night plans for Haskell Lumber Co. to build a new wood shaving plant. Haskell Lumber has been working for three years with Eastern Maine Development Corp. to help find an industry that will diversify its lumber business and help it maintain its business presence in Lincoln, Goodwin said.

— Construction of a proposed senior citizen housing development at West Broadway and Main Street is due to begin next month. The $4.07 million, 24-unit senior housing complex will fill the crater left at the former Lake Mall site that was destroyed in an arson fire almost a decade ago.

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