Construction begins in Lewiston’s giant Continental Mill complex

Released: Jun 9, 2023


Lewiston - The Szanton Company, a Portland-based housing developer, is breaking ground on redevelopment of Continental Mill’s historic picker house as Picker House Lofts, a 72-unit mixed income apartment project.  This marks the beginning of a larger redevelopment of the complex, adding momentum to the revitalization of downtown Lewiston.

Built in 1858 and located at 2 Cedar St on east bank of the Androscoggin River, the Picker House is the part of the Continental Mill complex where impurities were picked out of cotton before it was run through textile-making machines elsewhere in the complex.  Across the river is the Auburn Riverwalk, soon to be joined by Lewiston’s Riverwalk, to which this project has given rights to along its 560 feet of river frontage.  Picker House Lofts joins other redevelopment projects in downtown Lewiston such as Tree Street’s revitalization and adaptive re-use projects along lower Lisbon Street.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held June 9th at 10 a.m. in the Continental Mill inner courtyard.  The ceremony is free and open to the public.  Speakers will include Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline; MaineHousing Director Dan Brennan; TD Bank Maine Market President Larry Wold; Evernorth President Nancy Owens; and CEI Chief Investment Officer Daniel Wallace.

There will be brief tours of the building available to the press at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. that day, to understand the size of the project and appreciate the history of the site.  There will also be several renderings, to see the vision for the property.  

“We are thrilled to be giving a new birth of life to this historic complex that’s played such a huge role in the history of Lewiston’s economy and people,” said Szanton Company President Nathan Szanton.  “It’s been sitting largely empty for decades, waiting for people to imagine something different for it.” 

Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline said “Increasing affordable housing is such a crucial initiative right now for our city and our state. The new Picker House development at the Continental Mill is an essential step to addressing this issue while also repurposing empty mill space. I am proud of the Szanton Company for their vision and hard work developing the plans for this building, and I look forward to seeing the positive difference this will make in our community.”

The project will include one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.  Residents will enjoy a fitness center, roof deck, community room, laundry room, secure indoor bike storage, and off-street parking.

The Picker House is a 79,000 square foot building built in the center of the Continental Mill complex, the rest of which is owned by New-Hampshire-based Chinburg Properties. Rents for the workforce units will range from approximately $700-$1,100, while the market rents are expected to range from $1,050-$1,450.  Heat and hot water, off-street parking, and wi-fi will be included in the rent. 

The Szanton Company also built the 48-unit Lofts at Bates Mill, which opened in 2012, and the mixed-use, 63-unit Hartley Block, which opened in 2019.  Picker House Lofts is expected to open in early 2025.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with project principals or City officials, please contact:

  • Erik Monty (Asset Manager, The Szanton Company) - (207) 805-3578 or [email protected]
  • Anne Conley (Development Assistant, The Szanton Company) – (207) 321-2789 or [email protected]
  • Angie Amores (City of Lewiston Director of Communications) – (207) 449-2274 or [email protected]  
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