2018-12-06 / Front Page

Mill developers miss second deadline, will pay fine

By Abigail Worthing
Staff Writer


Permits for the project to renovate Lincoln Mill have yet to be pulled, with developers missing the second deadline on Nov. 29. The overhaul of the sidewalk outside the mill is nearing completion; part of the city’s end of the project. (Abigail Worthing photo) Permits for the project to renovate Lincoln Mill have yet to be pulled, with developers missing the second deadline on Nov. 29. The overhaul of the sidewalk outside the mill is nearing completion; part of the city’s end of the project. (Abigail Worthing photo) BIDDEFORD – City staff remain optimistic about the progression of the Lincoln Mill development, despite another missed permit deadline.

Code Enforcement Director Roby Fecteau confirmed on Nov. 30 that developers missed the second of the agreedupon deadlines for the $40 million project, which, at last estimate was slated for July 2020 completion. The project, following a missed Aug. 29 deadline, had until Nov. 29 to pick up building permits. The cost of which will be based on the final building valuation, calculated at the rate of $14.35 per $1,000, as well as a $60 application fee. The developers must now pay $10,000 to the city of Biddeford in addition to the $5,000 fine paid to the city in September, to be used for the development of the downtown.

Tim Harrington of LHL Holdings LLC, formerly Atlantic Holdings LLC and Eric Chinburg of Chinburg Properties, are set to develop the Lincoln Mill. Mayor Alan Casavant received a letter from Chinburg on Aug. 30, the day after the first deadline to pick up permits, which detailed a “complicated financial agreement” behind the delay and assured him that the project will continue as planned. The city of Biddeford amended the original joint development agreement in March to include an extension that would allow the project to navigate the complicated waters of qualifying for historic tax credits.

LHL Holding LLC purchased the property (as Atlantic Holdings LLC) on Jan. 16, 2015 for $2.5 million. While the original proposal for the mill included plans for an 80-room boutique hotel, plans have shifted to strictly residential.

City Manager James Bennett said in an email that the missed deadline was not a surprise to city staff, and that based on frequent updates and communications with the team, he remains confident that the project will move forward.

“A project of that size will have a substantial amount of work done to by architects and/or engineers in order to submit the necessary documents for the building permit,” Bennett wrote in a Dec. 3 email.

As per the amended joint development agreement, the project team now must pick up the building permits by Feb. 28, 2019. Failure to do so will incur an additional $15,000 fine.

Contact Staff Writer Abigail Worthing at news@inthecourier.com.

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