Officials push for proposed Lynn development


September 17, 2013
By Chris Stevens/The Daily Item

The City Council has scheduled a public hearing for next month on a zoning change that, if approved, will push a major redevelopment of Washington Street that much closer to reality.

Neighborhood Development Associates, the development arm of the Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development, is partnering with Boston developer Hub Holdings on a five-story, 72-unit project at the intersection of Washington and Sagamore streets.

“The fruits of over three years of hard work are coming together in a way that epitomizes what can happen when Lynn works together,” said Tony Dunn, economic development coordinator of New Lynn Coalition & Community Services Liaison to the AFL-CIO.

Dubbed The Gateway Residences, the proposal also includes a plan for mixed use with 4,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. The project was unveiled during a recent neighborhood meeting — the seventh since 2007 — held at the Lynn Home for Young Women on Broad Street.

About 50 people attended including residents, City Councilors Dan Cahill, Peter Capano, Rich Colucci, Brendan Crighton and President Timothy Phelan, as well as Thomas Bauer, principal of Hub Holdings, architect Chris Semmelink and LHAND staff.

According to the plan the project will feature units ranging from studios to three bedrooms spread out over the top four floors of the five-story building. The ground floor will be for 4,000 square feet of retail space that will likely include a café and stores reflective of the fact that there are residences above and North Shore Community College across the street.

Carly McClain, of the New Lynn Coalition, said she personally is hoping for a bookstore. She said she’s excited to see the project move forward.

“We canvassed the neighborhood and people are really enthusiastic,” she said. “It doesn’t hurt anyone’s views … it’s really going to be great.”

Phelan explained that the project is also to be considered transit-oriented development (TOD) due to the fact it is only a three-minute walk to the MBTA commuter rail and bus station.

“There will be substantial parking, but we cut the parking requirement because it will be transit-oriented development,” he said.

Bauer said the development is geared toward younger people who are not necessarily interested in having a car.

“They want to be able to get back and forth to work, and the nearby public transportation 

addresses that,” he said.

He said Gateway Residences will also be a green building project and that “solar energy will be a component.”

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy said she is optimistic the project will attract new residents and lead to future economic development in an area that is in need of a boost.

“This is taking an entire neighborhood and changing it for the better,” said EDIC/Lynn Executive Director James Cowdell.

“We feel very strongly about this plan,” said Peggy Phelps, LHAND neighborhood development manager. “We are hopeful this will be a catalyst to develop the rest of Washington Street.”

The Gateway Residences is the second phase of the Washington Street Gateway Project. Phase 1 included four new single-family homes on Suffolk Court, all built by NDA and sold to first time home buyers. Since 2007, NDA has acquired 1½ acres in the area, demolished three buildings and conducted a neighborhood cleanup that removed seven tons of trash.

“It’s kind of exciting,” Phelan said. “It’s been one step at a time.”

Phelan said the hearing will likely be held at the council’s Oct. 8 meeting, which will be held at 8 p.m. in council chambers in City Hall, fourth floor.



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