EDIC/Lynn to Sell Blood Building to Kipp Academy


July 25, 2017

The Daily Item

The Economic Development & Industrial Corporation (EDIC/Lynn) has agreed to sell the J.B. Blood Building to KIPP Academy Lynn, which plans to renovate the building and use it for its high school division. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

KIPP is currently the largest of 12 tenants in the four-story building, leasing parts of the first, third and fourth floors for grade K-2 classrooms, offices and cafeteria space.  

“This is a deal that benefits both parties,” said EDIC/Lynn Executive Director James M. Cowdell. “We were not in a position to do the extensive renovations the building needs, and KIPP was looking for space in the downtown for its high school.”

Cowdell said EDIC/Lynn received an estimate of approximately $3 million for renovations to upgrade and modernize the 90-year-old building, which EDIC/Lynn has owned for 30 years.

The deal with EDIC/Lynn materialized less than four months after KIPP’s proposal to build a new high school on Munroe Street was met with opposition, led by city councilors Dianna Chakoutis, whose Ward 5 district includes Munroe Street, and Peter Capano, who represents Ward 6, where the Blood Building is located.

“Putting a school in the Arts & Cultural District was not the best option,” said Chakoutis, who organized a meeting with KIPP officials when the Munroe Street proposal was revealed. “We’re pleased that KIPP heard our concerns and found an alternative.”

“This is a solution that makes sense for KIPP and the city,” said Capano. “This was
the best option of the ones that were available.”

KIPP Academy Lynn Executive Director Caleb Dolan said the school is pleased to be able to address its space needs while being responsive to concerns expressed by the city about the Munroe Street plan.

“Collaboration with the city is important to us,” Dolan said. “This site helps us to achieve our goal of a high-school building in the downtown.” Dolan said KIPP expects to partner with the YMCA for use of its facilities, negating the need to build a gymnasium in the renovated Blood Building.

In the 2017-18 school year, KIPP will have 1,338 students, including 365 in grades K-2 at the Blood Building and the rest in grades 5-12 at its main building in the Highlands. Third and fourth grades are not offered yet. Renovations to the 120,000 square-foot Blood building are expected to begin in March of 2018 and take approximately 15 months.

In the fall of 2019, KIPP Academy Lynn Elementary and Middle schools will be at the High Rock Street site, while the high school, KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate, will be in the refurbished Blood Building.

Current tenants in the Blood Building include the Family Success Center, operated by the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development and the United Way, a commercial kitchen, Arts After Hours, Pathways (formerly Operation Bootstrap), the New American Center for refugees, and JOI Child Care. All will be given at least several months to relocate, Cowdell said.

“This transaction will result in the redevelopment of an historic building and provide EDIC with resources to pursue other real-estate opportunities,” said Charles Gaeta, chair of the EDIC/Lynn board.

According to city records, the J.B. Blood Building was built in 1927. The J.B. Blood company was Lynn’s largest meat market, grocery store and delivery service in the 1930s and ’40s, with multiple locations in the city. It was founded by Josiah Beaman Blood, a descendant of two men named Josiah Blood, who were killed in the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Ticonderoga.

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