BIDDEFORD — As masonry crews worked on the exterior bricks of the Lincoln Mill, developers and city officials Wednesday celebrated the launch of an ambitious $50 million mixed-use project nearly five years after it was first announced.

Developers Tim Harrington and Eric Chinburg plan to transform the former textile mill into 148 luxury apartments and a boutique hotel with rooftop pool and bar. It will be the only hotel in downtown Biddeford.

“This project is going to be amazing,” Harrington said.

The project, which had been delayed while the developers lined up financing that includes historic preservation tax credits, is one of the largest recent projects in downtown Biddeford. Neighboring mills have been renovated into apartments, breweries, restaurants, artist studios and retail spaces.

Greg Paxton, executive director of Maine Preservation, said the Lincoln Mill project is the 11th Maine mill to be renovated in the last decade using the tax credits.

“Were seeing a tremendous amount of square footage that was idle now becoming a vital part of communities throughout the state,” Paxton said. “Biddeford and Saco have been real leaders in this area statewide.”

From right, Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant, Jennifer Chinburg, vice president and marketing director for Chinburg Properties, Eric Chinburg, president and CEO of Chinburg Properties, and Tim Harrington of Atlantic Holdings LLC, at the launch of The Lincoln project on Wednesday in Biddeford. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The history of the mill, which was built in the 1850s, was highlighted by city leaders who gathered near the building for a groundbreaking ceremony.

“This project is a great marriage of the history of Biddeford and the future we’re hoping to cultivate,” said City Councilor Amy Clearwater.

The Lincoln Mill is about 224,000 square feet – or roughly 5 acres – and is located at the corner of Main and Lincoln streets, just across from City Hall.

The Lincoln, designed by architect Mark Wilcox of Winton Scott Architects, will include 148 luxury apartments and a boutique hotel with 33 guest suites and a rooftop pool and bar. The building will include common social and work spaces, as well as an 11,000-square-foot Quest Fitness gym.

Batson River Brewing and Distilling, which has a tasting room in Lower Village Kennebunk, will open the Batson River Social Club at The Lincoln.

The developers say the project is expected to create 150 permanent jobs. The apartments are scheduled to open by the end of 2020, and the hotel  is expected to be complete by May 2021.

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