Lynn building on residential construction


January 1, 2016
By Thor Jourgensen/The Daily Item

Construction in the city in 2016 will be dominated, according to city building permit requests and recent project filings, by large-scale residential buildings and renovation work.

Leading the herd of big projects already undertaken or scheduled to enter preliminary stages next year is Swampscott developer Charles Patsios’ 1,250-residential unit development off the Lynnway and Washington Gateway, the 71-apartment development planned on Washington Street.

Patsios said work involved in preparing the 65-acre former General Electric gear plant site for development will begin in 2016. State officials are reviewing the project’s two inch-thick environmental notification form, but Patsios said environmental testing on the former manufacturing site produced good news.

“After exhaustive testing, the results came back better than I hoped,” he said. “Planned development of housing is well within the scope.”

Mike Donovan, the director of Lynn Inspectional Services, thumbs through the Environmental Notification Form for proposed former Genereal Electric gear plant project site.

Donovan looks at proposal

Mike Donovan, the director of Lynn Inspectional Services, thumbs through the Environmental Notification Form for proposed former Genereal Electric gear plant project site.

Patsios’ plans call for seven residential buildings, according to the notification form, along with a sports club, with the development located between the Lynnway and the commuter rail tracks paralleling the River Works.

“These will be high end,” said Lynn Inspectional Services Director Michael Donovan.

Slated to be built by a developer affiliated with the Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development, the Gateway Residences at Washington represent “...the beginning of the city’s effort to revitalize the Washington Street Corridor and the Sagamore Hill Neighborhood,” LHAND planning and development director Peggy Phelps wrote in a letter to Donovan.

With initial funding assembled for the $27 million house development, the project calls for 18 market-rate apartments with the other residences designated for tenants with different income thresholds.

Outfitted with a fitness room and 54 parking spaces, Gateway will use roof-mounted solar panels to generate electricity, according to Phelps’ letter.

“We are proud to be able to add 71 units of workforce housing and 2,000 square feet of retail space to Lynn as we start the revitalization of one of its most important and prominent neighborhoods,” wrote Phelps.

A city building permit review for 2015 indicates a major residential renovation project dominated construction activity this year.

Louis Barrett building owners filed a permit in October to undertake an estimated $5.6 million in renovations to kitchens and bathrooms in the high-rise’s 139 units, as well as installing a new roof and boiler and other work.

Christ Child Nursery undertook a complete renovation of its 41 North Federal St. facility, valued at $1.3 million, according to building permit reports, and General Electric and the Lynn School Department also filed permits for million dollar-plus roof replacements in 2015.

Donovan said the gear plant and Gateway projects point to a local construction trend angling away from public, tax dollar-funded projects to predominantly private sector projects like Patsios’ and two other local developments — a supermarket and residential building planned for Silsbee and Friend streets, and a North Bend Street residential development.

“We’re seeing an upswing with apartments, but we’re not seeing single-family homes,” Donovan said.

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at


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