Lewiston disc golf course expands pro shop

·4 min read

Jan. 12—Parking, pro-shopping and planning — it's an all-Lewiston Buzz II.

First up: Devils Grove Disc Golf at 455 Grove St. is growing.

The Lewiston Planning Board unanimously approved a new 534-square-foot pro shop and 335-square-foot overhead canopy Monday night.

Owner Alex Olsen opened Devils Grove in 2013 and it's home to two 18-hole courses.

"The more open, green fairway is called The Devil and The Demon is the shorter, more technical course in the woods," he said Tuesday. "It's definitely gotten busier since COVID. We did have to shut down for about a month, but it's definitely gotten more people outdoors."

The pro shop has been in the basement of a house on the premises. The expansion will bring it out to a stand-alone building that he hopes to see open by June.

"We'll carry water, we'll carry discs and bags, all the gear you need to play disc golf," Olsen said.

The new overhead canopy will cover picnic tables.

The business is open year-round with The Devil maintained through the winter.

"We salt and shovel the (traditional and beginner) tee pads and snowmobile the course," Olsen said. "We're hoping that this will take the business to the next level with being able to offer more products and really focusing on having more for sale there, and just a more comfortable atmosphere. Just a better destination."

The Planning Board unanimously approved Phase 3 of a new FedEx site expansion and a new subdivision expansion.

For the first, Gendron Realty was looking to expand parking and stormwater facilities at 380 River Road, the local home of FedEx.

The parking area will grow by 4.3 acres, adding 166 employee parking spots and additional room for 40 long trailers and 81 vans.

The $1.6 million project impacts 18,105 square feet of wetlands, according to a memo from consultant Michael Gotto of Stoneybrook Land Use.

The distribution facility embarked on Phase 2 of growth last year, adding a 38,388-square-foot addition. At that time, up to 200 people worked there year-round and up to 100 seasonally.

City Planner Doug Greene said current employment numbers weren't discussed Monday night. As part of Phase 2 approvals, FedEx has to let the city know each February what peak employment hits in November-December, and should it grow over 370, it'll trigger a traffic assessment.

"Phase 3 kind of completes the entire project," Greene said. "Once they get all this new parking put in place, they should be good for the long-term."

Gendron is aiming to finish the project by November, in time for the next peak season, according to Gotto.

Also in Phase 3: L&L Estates, which asked the board to add four new lots to that subdivision off Old Greene Road, will bring it up to 15 single-family home lots.

Each new lot is 1.5 to 2.1 acres and brings the total acres developed to 43.

"They're also looking ahead at some time in the future to Phase 4 and mentioned they weren't sure how many lots, but there's quite a bit of acreage available for some additional lots past where it goes right now," Greene said. "It's been a successful subdivision. It goes along with the search for buildable lots — everyone is looking and looking."

The new lots require the 420-foot extension of Matobian Avenue, a $450,000 project that should be done by fall, according to Gotto.

December building permits for the city included:

— A $83,455 project at 29 Lowell St. for Central Maine Healthcare renovating a storage area and turning part of it into classrooms.

— A $175,000 renovation at 150 College St. for Roy Real Estate turning a residential garage/barn into two family residential units.

— Several projects for GF Investments replacing windows and a patio door in all units at 25 and 27 Marston St.

— A $200,000 foundation-only project for a new car wash at 449 Sabattus St. for Schillings Drive.

Greene said the car wash was approved in 2017 when the Nouria gas station was built on the site.

"The owners finally have decided to pull the trigger on developing that car wash and they were able to bring in plans before their type of approval expired — approvals like that are good for five years, so they came in in time to meet that deadline," he said.