Lynn Welcomes New Manufacturer withTax Incentive


 By Adam Bass |  Item Live | January 26, 2022

The City Council approved a $100,000 tax incentive Tuesday for an innovative textile manufacturer planning to revitalize a vacant property downtown and create more than 100 jobs in the city.

“We don’t take tax incentives lightly, but we believe this is an exciting opportunity,” said Mayor Jared C. Nicholson, who attended the meeting to support a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement with a textile-manufacturing company Soliyarn. “This is exactly the type of industrial development that we have been working to attract to the city.”

“We don’t take tax incentives lightly, but we believe this is an exciting opportunity," said Mayor Jared C. Nicholson.

Soliyarn will be moving into the former Sterling Machine building on Farrar Street, where it plans to invest $3 million into the buildout and $3 million into equipment to manufacture smart garments with heat, sensing, and protective capabilities.

The company will use environmentally-friendly methods for textile treatment, developed by University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Trisha Andrew, said Sayantani Nandy, Soliyarn’s chief operating officer. Soliyarn’s technology does not use water for the textile treatment process and uses chemicals from biological sources that can be degraded by soil bacteria.

“We are trying to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., starting in Massachusetts,” Nandy said.

The company plans to create at least 105 jobs over the next five years, with an average annual salary of $87,000. 

Soliyarn will receive a $100,000 reduction in property taxes over a five-year period, with conditions.

In exchange for the TIF agreement, Soliyarn vowed to give preference to Lynn residents for jobs and establish a partnership with Lynn Tech in which the high school will serve as a feeder program to provide the company with trained employees.

“What is proposed is transparent,” said Nicholson.

The agreement is written so that the city can end the incentive if Soliyarn does not perform, and the incentive itself is non-transferable in the case that the company gets sold, Nicholson said. 

The building at 23 Farrar St. sits vacant with an assessment of $540,000 and $12,800 per year in property tax revenues, said James Cowdell, executive director of the Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn (EDIC/Lynn). The property value of the building, when complete, is estimated at $1.8 million, which would result in annual tax payments of $43,500.

The company has recently received a grant from the state for $1.5 million and is awaiting a vote on the state tax incentive next month, Cowdell said.

“The state believes in (TIFs) and we believe in them,” said Cowdell. “We don’t use this tool frequently.”

Soliyarn plans to use the Farrar property for its headquarters, manufacturing, research, and development, Nandy said. Most of the jobs will be technical.

Nandy assured the City Council of the company’s interest in engaging with local labor unions and using a local developer to build out the property. She also said that the company is planning to expand aggressively and will be looking at other properties in the city beyond Farrar Street.

“The more people we hire, the more we can produce,” said Nandy.

The majority of the City Council voted to approve the TIF, except Councilor-at-Large Brian LaPierre, who voted “no.” LaPierre said this is the first time he has seen the proposal and wanted the company to engage and have discussions with the local labor unions before the vote.

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