Who will redesign Lynn's waterfront? 6 firms vie for the job.


May 3, 2018, 2018
By Thomas Grillo/The Daily Item

Six design firms will compete to update the vision for the city’s 300-acre waterfront.

overlay depicting the waterfront zone in Lynn

Last month, the Economic Development Industrial Corp., (EDIC) the city’s development bank, invited proposals to revise the 11-year-old blueprint to transform the underdeveloped section of the city on the waterside of the Lynnway.

The companies include NBBJ, a Boston architecture and design firm that was selected by Fast Company magazine as the “Most Innovative Company in Architecture” for 2018; BSC Group in Boston, selected by the city of Everett to write its Urban Renewal Plan; Interface Studio LLC, a Philadelphia planning and urban design practice recognized for their work on the Lower Italian Market Revitalization Project in South Philadelphia; Harriman in Boston, selected to complete a waterfront redevelopment plan in New Bedford; Utile of Boston, part of the team that helped transform Detroit’s West Riverfront Park; and McCabe Enterprises of Boston, hired to improve the look of South Hadley Falls Village.

James Cowdell, EDIC’s executive director, said the bids will be opened next week and a firm selected.

“The process moving forward will include many public hearings to receive input from the community,” he said.

The study, which will take nine months to complete, will be ready next year. It is expected to cost more than $75,000.

Consultants will be asked to revisit zoning and land use on both sides of the Lynnway as well as consider industrial, commercial, residential, public, and retail uses.

In 2006, the city collaborated with Sasaki Associates to create a master plan to guide development of waterfront parcels. The Watertown planner determined Lynnway’s waterfront could accommodate 4 million square feet of housing, 2 million square feet of retail, office, hotel and light manufacturing, 5,000 permanent jobs, and $18 million in real estate tax revenues.

“The last plan led to rezoning and the first project, the $90 million North Harbor site, that is scheduled to have a shovel in the ground this year,” Cowdell said. “We will be working closely with Mayor McGee and the City Council on this plan.”

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