LINCOLN, Maine — In 2002, with about a quarter of downtown devastated by two back-to-back arsons, a group of 10 town leaders, businessmen and residents got together and imagined what a new downtown would be like, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said Wednesday.
The plan that they assembled — and that they got more than $682,000 in state and federal grants to help realize — doesn’t perfectly mirror Main Street as it is now, Goodwin said. But it did help make Main Street look the way it does now with clean, modern sidewalks and lighting and a bunch of new businesses, she said.
That’s why those committee members will be among the guests when the last piece of the reassembled downtown puzzle — the corner of Main Street and West Broadway — is dedicated to its new purpose during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Lakeview Senior Housing project at 10 a.m. Friday, Goodwin said.
While not exactly what was envisioned, the Penquis-operated senior citizen housing effort comes pretty close.
“We were dedicated to filling that hole,” Goodwin said Wednesday of the crater left by fire at the Lake Mall-Ayer site. “We did not want a small, drive-through, fast-food restaurant there. We were looking for a multipurpose building with maybe a retail component.”
Called Lakeview Senior Housing, the building at Main Street and West Broadway will be about 15,000 square feet and have 24 housing units. It is envisioned to be not only a home for senior citizens, but also a provider of customers to downtown businesses and service organizations.
It will be operated by the social service agency Penquis of Bangor.
Construction of the project is due to begin this week.