GE markets long vacant lot in Lynn

August 16, 2012
By Chris Stevens/The Daily Item

General Electric Co. is preparing to issue requests for proposal for a 22-acre lot that borders Federal Street and has lain fallow for nearly two decades.

“We are actually pro-actively marketing the property,” said GE spokesman Richard Gorham. “We’ve hired a real estate firm to handle the RFPs.”

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy hailed the news.

“I am very pleased to see significant movement on this project for the first time in two decades,” Kennedy said. “I’m grateful that GE recognized the sense of urgency we felt for them to act on a site that has such great potential for development.”

In the early 1980s, GE built a $42 million program that featured automated manufacturing of engine parts which executives dubbed the “Factory of the Future.” It closed in 1992 when orders decreased and was subsequently used for training machine operators. It was shut down permanently and mothballed in 1996 and, other than being used as a training location for firefighters, the property has largely sat unused since.

Kennedy attempted to jump-start a clean up of the property last year when she met with GE officials in New York.

“The mayor has been relentless on this issue,” said Lynn Community Development Director Jamie Marsh. “She got key people from GE to come to the table, and that’s what got the ball rolling. In a relatively short amount of time since then, the city has worked in collaboration with GE officials in Lynn and at the corporate level to get to this point.”

Gorham said there is still paperwork to be finalized and filed with the state regarding the cleanup but he said it is nothing taxing, “just part of the process we need to go through.”

The Activity Use Limitation placed on the site by state prohibits housing but Gorham said it is perfect for any number of light industrial or commercial uses.

He also said there are interested parties waiting in the wings to bid on the lot.

“There is definitely more than one eyeball on it,” he said.

According to GE officials at least eight parties have expressed interest in developing the fenced-in site that is also bordered by Western Avenue. The RFP will be open for three weeks and GE will also has a brochure and website ready to extol the virtues of the land. All environmental terms and conditions for future uses of the lot will also be laid out in the RFP.

“We’re optimistic something will be done by the end of the year,” Gorham said. “There has certainly been a lot of positive in roads made.”

EDIC Lynn Executive Director James Cowdell said it is hard to overstate the significance of this RFP.

“Redevelopment of this site will mean jobs and tax revenue for the city,” Cowdell said. “You’re talking about a 22-acre site that thousands of cars pass every day. This will take an eyesore and convert it to something positive for the neighborhood and the city.”

Chris Stevens can be reached at


Back to News