A private developer sees a variety of possibilities for the former Worumbo Mill Site at Lisbon Falls, with housing and business options among possible uses.
The town’s consultant Howard Kohn on Wednesday presented four options that all include a waterfront park, parking space and room for recreation.
The first option presented will have a waterfront park, parking space, and recreation space on the site.
“This scenario will not have any traditional economic activity that would bring direct benefits to the town, irrespective of who owns it,” said Kohn. “There are no tax revenues that would come into Lisbon from this, and there is absolutely no direct return that the development community in this scenario can effectuate.”
While there is an option for community events to happen on the site like a farmers market, graduation parties, family and school reunions, Khon said they are all seasonal and have their limitations.
The second redevelopment option suggested was a waterfront park with residential housing and office space.
According to the redevelopment draft plan, nearly 20 to 24 housing units and four office spaces can come up on the site.
“This is a housing option with amenities where direct revenues could flow in or a minimum of $66,000 a year to Lisbon with and $1.3 million over 20 years,” said Khon. “It provides the housing that is desperately needed. You can make a lot of improvements to the site in this scenario.”
The third option suggested includes a waterfront park, residential housing with lesser units, and a restaurant.
Khon said having a restaurant on the site may not be a viable option considering the amount of rent that a developer could get for commercial property in Lisbon will be difficult to justify the construction cost.
The final option is to have a waterfront park with boutique size business opportunities.
The town’s Economic and Development Director Brett Richardson said all four options are great for the community.
“Each one includes a large park, what would be the largest park in Lisbon Falls, including the options that have development,” said Richardson. “If we could have development that generates benefits in revenue for the village while having a community space for events, that is to me, the highest and best use.”
He believes the site can accommodate all those uses.
The committee members will present all the four redevelopment options to the town council members for their approval on Feb. 1.
“We will incorporate the feedback from the last night’s meeting and fine-tune the options and then share those with the town council,” said Richardson. “We will do a deeper dive analysis on parking implications and financial implications later in February.”
He said they would also have simple sketches and site plans created so that the residents can see how different approaches to orienting the buildings can maintain river views, a large community park, and support development that will generate some tax revenue for the town.
The story will be updated.