Hotel chain checking into Lynnway


November 6, 2014
By Thor Jourgensen/The Daily Item

A “top-end,” 90-room Lynnway hotel proposed for construction in 2015 is the newest addition to the city’s waterfront revival plan, Economic Development and Industrial Corporation Executive Director James Cowdell said Wednesday.

Cowdell and Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy declined to reveal the name of the developer or the hotel chain interested in opening on the Lynnway until Nov. 18 when Cowdell plans to ask City Council members to approve a tax increment financing (TIF) plan for the project.

“On the 18th, I’ll introduce the owner and the hotel. They are investing almost $9 million to create permanent jobs at that site,” Cowdell said.

He said the hotel’s room rate will be $139 a night, and each work shift will have approximately 20 full-time employees. Plans for the project call for the owner to lease land for 50 years between Harding and Hersey streets from owner Kenneth Carpi Jr.

The site was formerly used for an automobile auction.

The hotel would be “a key piece” in the city’s Waterfront Master Plan, according to Cowdell. Drafted in 2007, the plan outlines building residential and commercial projects on more than 300 acres from the General Edwards Bridge to Market Street and along the inner harbor to the Nahant Rotary.

Cowdell said the Lynn-Boston commuter ferry service launched on a pilot basis this year and power-line relocation work off the Lynnway are also important parts of the waterfront plan.

Swampscott developer Charles Patsios last week paid $7.6 million for the 65-acre former General Electric gear plant site off the Lynnway, and said city waterfront zoning changes open the land for redevelopment.

“The City of Lynn has turned the corner in 2014 with a possible string of successful economic development projects set to begin,” City Council President Daniel Cahill said.

Under a TIF agreement, the hotel developer would receive a favorable reduction in property tax obligations on the property with the city gradually increasing tax payment requirements over a 20-year period.

“The benefit to the city is almost $9 million invested in the city and permanent creation of jobs. That’s why it’s a win-win for the city,” Cowdell said.

EDIC worked with three other businesses — Rossetti Restaurant, D’Amici’s Bakery and Kettle Cuisine, a commercial soup maker based off the Lynnway — to arrange TIFs, Cowdell said, adding that city officials have been negotiating for more than a year with the hotel developer who, Kennedy said, initially approached the mayor’s office and continued talks with EDIC.

“We’re coming to the end of a very needed and welcome result on the Lynnway,” the mayor said.

Council approval of the TIF would set the stage for Kennedy to sign the agreement and then for it to receive state approval, with construction scheduled to start in March.

“This is a big step in redefining Lynn as a destination city and the gateway to the North Shore,” said EDIC Chairman and Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development Executive Director Charles Gaeta.

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at



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