Lynn Awarded $250,000 For Downtown Brownfields Cleanup


 By Thor Jourgensen |  Item Live | December 27, 2020

The former Whyte’s Laundry site next to the Willow Street post office is slated for environmental cleanup with $250,000 in state Brownfields money, state Sen.  Brendan P. Crighton announced.

“This grant is the result of a targeted vision for downtown Lynn and a collaboration between local and state stakeholders,” said Crighton. “Thank you to the Baker administration, Mayor Thomas M. McGee, and the Economic Development & Industrial Corporation (EDIC/Lynn) for their leadership to promote economic growth and neighborhood improvement.”

The grant is part of a $1.25 million allocation from the state Brownfields Redevelopment Fund announced last week by Gov. Baker.

State Sen. Brendan Crighton announces that the former Whyte's Laundry site next to the Willow Street post office is slated for environmental cleanup with $250,000 in state Brownfields money, (Spenser R. Hasak)

EDIC/Lynn will use the money to pay for cleaning up the one-third-acre downtown site located a block away from the former Anthony’s Hawthorne restaurant. The cleanup sets the stage for redevelopment of nearby downtown properties for housing or commercial uses.

In 2019, the EDIC/Lynn was awarded $248,000 from the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund to conduct pilot bench-scale testing at this site.

“EDIC was proud to work with Mayor McGee on this application. These are much-needed funds that will begin the clean up of a former laundromat located in the heart of our downtown. It is the first step in developing this vacant lot,” said EDIC/Lynn Executive Director James M. Cowdell.

MassDevelopment last August opened a competitive solicitation for applications from municipalities and their agencies or authorities for up to $100,000 in site assessment funding, or up to $250,000 in site assessment and/or remediation funding.

“This grant is the product of collaboration between state and local partners working to promote economic development in our downtown,” said McGee.  “This funding will go a long way to revitalize the community by removing harmful pollution and creating new opportunities for the neighborhood.”

State Representatives Dan Cahill, Peter Capano, Lori A. Ehrlich and Donald Wong called the Brownfield allocation a significant opportunity to advance downtown Lynn development and move toward reusing the vacant former commercial laundry site.

“This property has sat vacant and polluted for years, and following the cleanup its development will reshape the neighborhood and create a sense of community pride,” said Cahill.

Capano called the Whyte’s cleanup “long overdue,” with Ehrlich saying the land “has been in need of remediation for decades.”

Said Wong, “In funding the cleanup of the property it will enhance and bring more development in the surrounding area.”
Whyte’s operated as a commercial laundry locally dating back to 1898. Environmental concerns related to the vacant site stem from the chemicals used by the former laundry.

MassDevelopment oversees the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, which helps to transform vacant, abandoned, or underused industrial or commercial properties by financing the environmental assessment and remediation of brownfield sites in “Economically Distressed Areas” of the Commonwealth.

From the Fund’s inception in 1998 through Fiscal Year 2020, it has supported 747 awards for a total investment of more than $108 million.


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