Lynn sees uptick in development


Tuesday, August 19, 2014
By Chris Stevens/The Daily Item

Economists may contend the region is still recovering from recession, but commercial and residential development is blossoming all over Lynn.

On Boston Street the unnamed store that everyone knew but no one would confirm was a CVS is beginning to look like an actual CVS. And just down the street where a sign promises that Burger King will be back after a fire closed the restaurant last year — and despite rumors of a Popeye’s Chicken or Taco Bell will go in its place — Inspectional Services Chief Michael Donovan confirms Burger King will be back.

“They have a permit to demolish and reconstruct another Burger King,” he said. “And yes, CVS is moving along.”

Starbucks has proposed a full-service cafe on the Lynnway.

Meanwhile, Rossetti’s on Sutton Street has announced the restaurant will be open on Sundays for drinks and dinner beginning Sept. 7. Its new hours will be from 1-8 p.m.

There is also residential development in progress or planned; artist lofts and urban apartments are being built at 33 Central Ave., and on one of the city’s largest remaining buildable lots, a local developer has filed to build 11 two-family homes on a 10 acres off Fairmont Street.

Ward 7 Councilor Rick Ford said initially the developer wanted to put more than twice the number of duplexes on the property but he agreed to scale down the project. His original design also had the buildings all on one side of the property, a design that Ford admitted he liked but he said he stood with the neighbors.

“(The neighbors) really didn’t want anything, so I asked him to just do what the law allowed,” Ford said. “So it will be 11 duplexes spread over the entire property. It’s a big piece of property though.”

On Dell Court just off Oakland Avenue, another 15-lot subdivision is going up, Donovan said.

Closer to the downtown is a mixed-use development that is slowly taking shape on Union Street.

A Medford developer has wedged a building in between Caruso’s and Amigos Dollar Discount that, according to the building permit, will contain two retail spaces on the first floor and six apartments above.

Local developer Charles Patsios is also working on a development deal for the 60-acre GE property on the Lynnway commonly known as the gear plant, though full plans have yet to be announced.

The city’s largest development is being undertaken by the city itself, with construction of the new Marshall Middle School. If the wind is blowing in just right direction a steady whomp, whomp, whomp from the pile drivers can be heard from the greens at Gannon Municipal Golf Course to West Lynn, Donovan said. He said that portion of the project should be done by the end of the month and then the neighbors will just have to contend with regular construction noise.

“We’re approaching the completion of the final design,” he said. “The first phase is going well. The steel will start going up late September or early October and that’s when you’ll really see the form of the building take shape.”

Chris Stevens can be reached at




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