Market Basket to officially take over Lynn Factory of Future site

May 21, 2013
By Thor Jourgensen/The Daily Item

A $4 million deal signed by Swampscott businessman Charles Patsios and General Electric representatives paves the way for Market Basket to open a store on the Federal Street site, possibly by year’s end.

“With no bumps in the road, something will be showing this year,” Patsios said Monday.

Patsios’ attorney, James Moore, of Lynn, said architects are preparing to do a detailed review of the Factory of the Future building located on the 24-acre site’s Western Avenue location.

Moore said the deal signed last Friday by GE executives and Patsios encompasses a lease between Demoulas, owner of 61 Market Basket stores, and Patsios. It includes renovation and improvements to the building necessary to convert it into a supermarket.

bird’s eye-view map shows where a new Market Basket store on Federal Street will be located.
This bird’s eye-view map shows where a new Market Basket store on Federal Street will be located.

“Market Basket will commence with remodeling that building. It makes sense for Charlie because he has a lease with Market Basket. That’s why the deal was consummated: Both he and Market Basket were satisfied they could go ahead with the entire deal, which included the lease and the leasehold improvements. If it’s like 99 percent of other transactions of this type, they’ll move as quick as they can to move forward,” Moore said.

Moore and city officials announced in January that Patsios, manager of 40 Federal Street Realty Holdings LLC, and GE had struck a tentative deal to bring a Market Basket and 500 full and part-time jobs to the city’s center.

“This is a huge victory for the city,” stated Economic Development and Industrial Corporation Director James Cowdell.

The Factory of the Future building has stood empty since 1996, when General Electric discontinued training workers in the facility after initially using it as an automated production plant.

GE spokesman Richard Gorham on Monday confirmed the Patsios purchase.

“This transaction will hopefully allow for redevelopment of the property in a manner that is deemed positive and that ultimately benefits the city and its residents,” Gorham stated in an electronic mail.

Patsios credited Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, City Council President Timothy Phelan, and other councilors and city development leaders with helping him complete his four-and-a-half-year effort to complete the GE purchase.

Kennedy, in a statement, said the Factory site’s revival has been a priority for her administration.

“This brings back life to dormant land in West Lynn. It will also give people in West Lynn and beyond another supermarket choice,” Kennedy stated.

Patsios said the March 12 council zoning vote allowing business use of the Factory site propelled the deal forward.

“Zoning was always a concern but it played second fiddle to getting a deal on paper. Tim Phelan did a fantastic job moving this off life support,” he said.

Patsios said he initially became involved in the Factory of Future site as a broker attempting to put a deal together between a site buyer and GE. He said changes in the real estate market over time placed him in the position to become the site buyer — providing he could strike a deal for the site’s use.

Meetings between Kennedy and GE executives beginning in fall 2011 accelerated the deal.

Demoulas representative David McLean could not be reached for comment Monday but Patsios on Monday said Demoulas is “working now on taking the project from the conceptual stage.”

“They’re excited about it,” he said.

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at

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