Garelick Farms Plant Purchased For $9.9 Million


 By Guthrie Scrimgeour  |  Item Live | January 5, 2021

 The Garelick Farms site on the Lynnway is now officially under new ownership.

A.W. Perry, a real estate investment, development, and services firm, in partnership with Novaya Real Estate Ventures, announced Tuesday it has purchased the 250,000 square-foot industrial facility — along with a 10-acre parcel at 0 Circle Ave. — from Dean Foods for $9.9 million.

“We’re excited to be there. We think it’s a great location,” said Robert Maloney, executive vice president and managing director of acquisitions at A.W. Perry. “Lynn has a ton to offer for tenants and we’re eager to get the place fixed up and leased out so we can get jobs back in there.”

The property, which has been renamed Lynnway Park, is able to accommodate a variety of uses, including warehouse storage, food processing, preparation and storage, light industrial and biomanufacturing.

In the short term, A.W. Perry intends to rent the property in separate pieces.

Traffic drives past the Garelick Farms truck perched over the Lynnway. Despite recent purchase of the property, the iconic truck will remain. (Spenser R. Hasak)

“For the first few years, they will try to rent the property out to one or multiple tenants to give them time to plan for a long-term project,” said James Moore, the company’s attorney.

“We’ve had a bunch of prospective tenants in the food prep and the food processing business. We’ve had a fair amount of interest in the cold storage facility,” said Maloney.

In the long term, A.W. Perry described the potential of using the site for a mixed-use development and possible life science and medical manufacturing business.

“They’re in the process of developing a long-term plan. They did not buy it to cut it up and rent it out,” said Moore. “Whether it’s commercial, retail, residential, everything is on the table.”

This purchase comes after a February zoning regulation change aimed at spurring this type of development at the site, which had previously been zoned only for dairy manufacturing. 

The new zoning allows for the site to be used for light manufacturing, hotels, an apartment house, assisted living facility, and fitness center.

“We are thrilled that A.W. Perry is the new owner of the former Garelick site,” said James M. Cowdell, the executive director of the Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn (EDIC/Lynn). “They have a long, successful history and we are looking forward to working on a short- and long-term use of this very important site.”

The 90-year-old milk and dairy plant, recognizable from the Lynnway by the iconic Garelick Farms truck on its roof, was once one of Lynn’s largest employers, providing jobs to more than 300 workers.

The building has been out of use since the plant abruptly shut down its Lynn operations in May 2018.

In November 2019, the owner of Dean Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing the decline in consumption of cow’s milk and the growth in demand of plant milk, and in May 2020, the company was acquired by the Dairy Farmers of America.

The final price of $9.9 million was adjusted down from $10.6 million close to the closing to account for deferred maintenance, Maloney reported.

The sale generated $48,336 in excise tax for the state, according to Moore.

Maloney expects that the rooftop truck will stay, despite the new ownership.

“We’ve come to appreciate just how much of an icon it is,” said Maloney. “I think it wants to be there. It’s part of the real estate. So I think we’re going to leave it there. I think we’ll put a Lynnway Park name on it in the short term, and in the long term we want to do something more interesting than that.”

Guthrie Scrimgeour can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @g_scrimgeour. 


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