Positive developments are seen in Lynn


August 5, 2016
By Thomas Grillo/The Daily Item

Picture this: A gleaming apartment or office building atop the underused MBTA Garage in the downtown with restaurants, boutiques and shops on the ground floor.

The idea was floated by MassDevelopment, the state’s economic development and finance agency, at a private meeting of the Lynn Economic Advancement and Development (LEAD) team on Thursday.
“I never imagined it and I think it’s a great idea,” said U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) a LEAD team member, following the two-hour session at the Lynn Museum. “That’s the kind of thing that can happen when you bring local, state and federal resources together. No one was talking about this before.”

While the MBTA owns the facility, the city was encouraged to seek developers who would be willing to build on top of the garage.

headshot of Congressman Seth Moulton

Item File Photo

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton.

Moulton was in town with members of the team, Gov. Charlie Baker’s high-powered panel that in addition to Moulton includes Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, James Cowdell of Lynn’s Economic Development & Industrial Corp., Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ashand others who can cut through the bureaucracy and jumpstart development.

Kennedy said her vision of the city includes lodging.

“When I talk about a hotel, I am really talking about changing a decade’s-long perception of visiting and staying in our city,” the mayor said in prepared remarks. “I am looking to provide a meeting place for both business and other groups, a central location which is missing … and something all gateway cities should have or already have.”

Ash rejected any suggestion that the sinking of the Lynn Ferry this summer has slowed the momentum of development along the Lynnway.

“The ferry would be a nice add on, but the development we are talking about is not reliant on the ferry,” Ash told The Item following the meeting .

In June, the Baker administration rejected Lynn’s request for $700,000 in operating expenses for the ferry to sail for a third summer.

Ash, who barred a reporter from attending the session, said that LEAD is not a formal board that requires open meetings.

“There are times when we do things in public and other times when we want to get everyone together and make sure they are on the same page,” he said.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.com.


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