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Auburn City Council Approves Sale of St. Louis Church

AUBURN, ME (April 3, 2023) – The Auburn City Council authorized City Manager Phil Crowell to execute the sale of the historic St. Louis Church during a city council meeting held earlier this evening.

The church property, located at 32 Dunn Street, has been “on and off the market” for nearly a decade, according to Auburn’s Director of Economic Development, Jay Brenchick. “We have shown this incredible property to 87 different developers and interested parties over the past two years,” said Brenchick. “We knew the right opportunity would come along and we are very excited about this project.”

The city engaged Portland-based commercial real estate brokers The Boulos Company to help sell the St. Louis Church. “Our broker, Chris Paszyc, understood how meaningful this property is to our community,” said Brenchick. “He prioritized finding a buyer with the ability, desire, and vision to transform and revive the building, while retaining its character and history. Portland CPA, developer, and UMaine graduate Tom Robinson is that buyer.”

Robinson sees endless potential in the neo-Gothic church nestled in the heart of the New Auburn neighborhood. “I am truly excited to breathe new life into this unique and beautiful building,” said Robinson. “I understand how meaningful this building is to the community, and I am honored to restore, reinvigorate, and reimagine the space.”

He has engaged Auburn architecture firm Platz Associates to help bring his vision for St. Louis Church to life. “The Platz team has extensive experience in restoring historic buildings and a strong commitment to community, making them the perfect fit for this project,” said Robinson.

“Platz Associates is looking forward to working with Tom Robinson on this exciting housing project in Auburn,” said Tom Platz. “It is always rewarding to repurpose these pieces of our community’s history.”

Robinson’s plan for the building, which he is purchasing for $50,000, is to create 20 new one- and two-bedroom market rate apartments. While a 2021 evaluation of the structure, front façade and slate roof by Allied Engineering found the building to be structurally sound, an estimated $940,000 in repairs to the building’s brickwork/front façade and roof would be required.

Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque is delighted that St. Louis Church will be receiving the attention and care it needs and deserves. “I think it’s wonderful that this landmark Auburn property will be restored and will have a whole new life,” said Levesque. “The legacy of those who built the church, who worshipped there, and who raised their families there will endure; and there will be a whole new generation of people living their lives beneath the beautiful spires and columns of St. Louis Church.”

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