The City of Lewiston welcomes and is supportive of economic development. Between January 2000 and December 2009, more than $432 million in new economic development projects occurred, encompassing various industries, including health, financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, warehousing / distribution, and printing and graphics. Between January 2010 and December 2021, more than $220 million in new projects have been completed or are underway.
The city has a streamlined development review process and delegated review authority on traffic, storm-water, and site law. Development review criteria are well defined. Most development projects are approved in one Planning Board meeting. The city has approved 18 tax increment financing (TIF) agreements since 1993 and is creative in developing public/private partnerships. Lewiston has been aggressive in utilizing tax increment financing to leverage private sector investment. In March 2020, the City Council approved two TIF districts to support commercial development. Valley Beverage aims to increase operations in Lewiston with a $3.7 million expansion that will add 24 jobs to the area and 41 vehicle registrations. A second TIF district at 197 Lisbon St – Scruton Block will support a $2,350,600 investment in a vacant building to create 12 market-rate apartments and two floors of prime commercial space. Also approved by City Council in December 2019 is the Saxon Partners – Residence at Great Falls TIF district. This district will support 245 market-rate apartments on a blighted property with a $30 million investment.
To support low and moderate-income businesses, the City of Lewiston’s Economic and Community Development Department (ECDD) offers six commercial programs that are made available to entrepreneurs who are interested in developing mixed-use spaces in collaboration with residential programs, attracting commercial uses to increase the tax base and increasing vibrancy in the downtown area.