Developer sets sights on vacant Lynn land


February 22, 2014
By Chris Stevens/The Daily Item

There is much work to do but plans are unfolding to develop the Beacon Chevrolet site on the Lynnway, which has stood unused for more than 30 years.

“We’re in the process of developing plans,” said local real estate owner Arthur Pappathanasi. “We’re looking to put in apartments and some retail space but a lot will depend on if the state and the city will work with us.”

Potential obstacles include accessing the property from the southbound side of the Lynnway and completing a transaction that involves an easement running through the middle of the property and a vacant piece of land in Central Square.

The initial plans call for 270 apartments and 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of retail space but Pappathanasi said people will need access, and drivers will have to be able to make a left hand turn into the property if they’re coming from Lynn Shore Drive.

The Lynnway is a state owned highway, which means Pappathanasi needs state approval before he can make any new curb cuts for access.

He said there are also some waterfront issues and soil testing to be done before shovels can hit the ground.

Pappathanasi was quick to note, however, that state legislators and local officials have all be very supportive of the project.

“I can’t stress enough that it’s just the process that takes forever,” he said. “But everyone we’ve dealt with have been nothing but helpful.”

“We are very excited,” said Economic Development and Industrial Corporation Executive Director James Cowdell. “He presented, to the mayor and myself, his vision of mixed use.”

Cowdell said proximity to the future Lynn ferry was one aspect that attracted Pappathanasi to the Beacon Chevrolet site. He likes the idea of residents living there and commuting to Boston via the ferry, Cowdell said.

Ward 6 City Councilor Peter Capano is guardedly excited about the project. He said he wants to be excited but he’s afraid to jeopardize its chances.

Capano said he knows there are people who believed nothing would ever happen on the Beacon site but he called Pappathanasi’s vision “a really good plan.”

“It is very exciting, a lot of people have been working on this for a long time,” he said. “I’m really hopeful.”

Pappathanasi said he is hopeful as well.

“I’m hoping to have it built in a couple of years,” he said. “The goal is to get into the ground in 2015 and complete it by 2016.”


Back to News