Article by Chris Giesen
Over the course of 2012 the Lewiston EDA, City Council, and Planning and Zoning Commission developed a plan to sell the historic 1897 former city hall/fire station building in an effort to initiate downtown revitalization. Having sat empty for a number of years since City Hall moved to its current location at the Community Center, it has become home for an eclectic assortment of historic Lewiston artifacts but because of a number of functional and accessibility issues, it is no longer useful as a public office building.
Inspired by a project successfully completed by the City of Stewartville, the EDA requested that the city council look at using the building as an economic development project. “This really is a forward-thinking project.” Said CEDA Community and Economic Development Specialist and Lewiston EDA Executive Director Chris Giesen. “Lewiston has many positive projects going on simultaneously, but none of them had included downtown, until this project. Downtown has been a priority for the EDA, but its tools were limited. This was something that could be done with present resources and could have a very positive impact on the community.” Giesen continued.
The EDA is currently preparing to advertise the property’s availability, which has been set up as a “request for proposal” process. The EDA is requiring that proposals be made outlining any restoration, end use, materials used, and other aspects that an interested party would undertake should their plan be chosen. The EDA will consider the future plans for the site and potentially sell the building for as low as $1 if the general character of the project is in the best interest of the city. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Lewiston City Hall at 507-523-2257 for more information.