Federal, State and Local Leaders Announce New Investments in Lynn
Lynn Economic Advancement & Development (LEAD) Team Collaborates to Advance Economic Development, Transit and Open Space Projects
Lynn – May 12, 2017 – The Lynn Economic Advancement and Development (LEAD) team, made up of U.S. Representative Moulton, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, Mayor Flanagan Kennedy, Senator McGee, Representatives Cahill, Crighton, Ehrlich and Wong, and local stakeholders, held its spring meeting in Lynn to discuss economic development projects, and discuss plans for growth and job creation.
“We are proud of the strong collaboration of state, federal and local partners that is identifying solutions and opportunities in Lynn to spur community development, economic growth and job creation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is committed to providing the Commonwealth’s cities and towns with the tools they need to succeed, and these investments will create new opportunities in housing, transportation and employment for residents and businesses in Lynn.”
“This effort demonstrates the impact city, state, and federal officials can have by coordinating efforts that leverage our shared investments and goals,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This kind of collaborative, community-driven process has been an incredibly effective way to approach economic development in a municipality with so much potential.”
Close collaboration among federal, state, and local officials has laid the groundwork for increased coordination on economic development opportunities. At the meeting, the LEAD team highlighted Lynn’s ongoing progress, which included investment announcements in housing, arts, open space and transportation:
- Housing Development: $1.4 million in tax credits from the Baker-Polito Administration’s Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to support 48 new, market-rate housing units at 23 Central Street.
- Transit-Oriented Development: The MBTA will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with a private developer for a new, permanent commuter rail station at Riverworks Station, allowing for the development of 1,160 units of multi-family, transit-oriented housing.
- Brownfields Redevelopment: MassDevelopment awarded $99,500 to the Economic Development & Industrial Corporation (EDIC) of Lynn to remediate the Whyte’s Laundry site which has been vacant for 25 years.
- Recreational Opportunities and Open Space: The Baker-Polito Administration’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is providing more than $300,000 to produce a plan and design documents for parks and open spaces in the Waterfront Zone, and will provide more than $8 million through the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) capital budget to repair and enhance agency properties along the waterfront.
- Public Arts Initiative: Resident driven arts initiative, Beyond Walls, raised over $50,000 and secured a matching $50,000 grant from MassDevelopment to install multiple public art pieces to increase walkability and promote a sense of place in Lynn’s Transformative Development Initiative District.
“Lynn is the front door to my district and home to a diverse community of hardworking people,” said Congressman Seth Moulton. “The LEAD team continues to uniquely serve Lynn by bringing federal, state, and city officials together to unlock Lynn’s potential. I am proud of the work we’ve done to create jobs and bring new businesses here, but there’s a lot more to do, and I look forward to our continued efforts for the City.”
The Department of Housing and Community Development recently granted tax credits to a new, market-rate housing development at 23 Central Street, valued at $1.4 million under the department’s Housing Incentive Development Program (HDIP). The program provides Gateway Cities with a development tool to increase residential growth, diversify housing stock, support economic development, and promote neighborhood stabilization in designated areas. The project is an adaptive reuse of a former office building and will create 48 new units of market rate rental housing and ground floor commercial space. The first floor will be occupied by Pies and Pints an upscale pizzeria that will offer about 25 craft beers and seating for 105 people. A coffee shop, called The Brew, will also open on the first floor.
“It is incredible to see the amount of energy and interest this team has created,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “The amount of work each member has put into cutting through the red-tape to roll-up our sleeves and get the job done is remarkable. I look forward to getting back to Lynn in the coming months for slice of pizza and a groundbreaking, or two!”
“The LEAD team is a great example of how government should work with city, state and federal leaders working together to move Lynn forward. It has been an effective team that has accomplished much in a short period of time”, said James Cowdell, executive director of Lynn’s Economic Development and Industrial Corporation.
The Baker-Polito Administration, in collaboration with MassDevelopment, announced a $99,500 grant from the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund for environmental site assessment work that will allow the Economic Development & Industrial Corporation (EDIC) of Lynn to remediate the Whyte’s Laundry site, a heavily-blighted eyesore that has remained vacant for 25 years. The LEAD team in its nascent stages identified the Whyte’s Laundry site as a key priority.
“This grant will allow the City to address a centrally located property that has been unutilized for a quarter-century,” said Mayor Flanagan Kennedy. “I am appreciative for the work of the LEAD team and grateful to Governor Baker for joining me in its creation. It brings all branches of government together to implement the goals of the city, and there have many achievements in a relatively short period of time.”
The Baker-Polito Administration also announced that the MBTA and Lynnway Associates LLC of Swampscott signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding plans by Lynnway Associates to pay for and build a permanent public commuter rail station at Riverworks Station on the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Line. The MOU will allow for the development of a 1,160 units of multi-family, transit oriented housing to move forward. In exchange for usage rights, the developer has agreed to build fully accessible station platforms in compliance with legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and improve access and egress to the platforms. In addition to paying construction costs and the cost to maintain the new structures, the developer has agreed to capitalize a “Transportation Improvement Fund” with a $500,000 deposit. The proceeds of this fund will be used for transportation improvements in the Riverworks vicinity and developers of future projects will be asked to contribute. Any ancillary costs, such as the possible relocation of sidings, will be paid for from the Transportation Improvement Fund.
“Economic growth can be achieved by improving the quantity and quality of transportation options,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “This MOU represents exactly the kind of public-private partnership that creates a win-win for transportation and economic growth. We are pleased at the developer’s commitment to paying for physical improvements at Riverworks Station. We look forward to seeing the changes that will be taking place as a result of the investment that are sure to include increased new interest in living in Lynn as the city will have an important new asset in its new permanent commuter rail station.”
“We are pleased to be among many future opportunities within the City of Lynn and are thrilled to have an agreement incorporating commuter rail access in concert with our project,” said Charlie Patsios. “We value our working relationship with MA DOT and the MBTA as well as a shared commitment of the Baker Administration to the future of the City of Lynn.”
In March, MassDevelopment and Neighborhood Development Associates announced a campaign, through the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity and Commonwealth Places, to raise funds for public art installations. Beyond Walls, a group comprised of Lynn residents, business owners, and public art and placemaking enthusiasts, will use funds to install lighting in underpasses and the city’s business district; a sculpture that pays homage to Lynn’s industrial roots; and seven murals in the heart of Lynn’s Transformative Development Initiative District. This project aims to improve walkability, and increase perceptions of both place and safety in downtown Lynn. Beyond Walls has exceeded its original fundraising goal of $50,000 and has secured a $50,000 match from MassDevelopment.
“The efforts of the LEAD team in Lynn parallel what MassDevelopment tries to do in Gateway Cities through our Transformative Development Initiative,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We appreciate the fiscal support from the Baker-Polito Administration and the Commonwealth for both the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund and Commonwealth Places, two programs that will make real differences in the lives of Lynn residents and in the prospects of Lynn businesses.”
“It’s great to be a part of the progress the LEAD Team has made, building on the previous efforts of the state legislative delegation,” said Senator Thomas M. McGee. “There is still work to be done, and I look forward to reaching future successes together.”
“The ability to coordinate our efforts and share vital information between complex projects, allows the City to reach its goals and more importantly its overall potential” said Charles Gaeta, Executive Director of the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development. “Lynn’s economic development success will rely on a multitude of cross sector achievements in commerce, housing, and transportation. The Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development is pleased with the progress made and remains eager to coordinate all of its housing initiatives and developments to coincide with the teams overall economic development goals for the City.”
“Although we have enjoyed some early successes that we are proud of, we still have a lot of work to do,” said Representative Dan Cahill. “I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the LEAD Team members to make improvements across the City of Lynn.”
Thriving neighborhoods have parks and open spaces, and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has been working with the city and other Lynn LEAD Team members to ensure that a continuous waterfront promenade and other parks are created as redevelopment occurs. EEA has provided more than $300,000 to produce a plan and design documents for parks and open spaces in the Waterfront Zone. Further, the Baker-Polito Administration’s capital budget provides the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) with more than $8 million to repair and enhance agency properties along the waterfront. As a result, DCR's parks and paths will help attract development to the waterfront and serve as a template for additional future improvements.
“By working together, the LEAD Team is able to utilize the knowledge and expertise of its members to ensure important priorities, such as open green spaces, are developed in order to not only benefit the community now, but well into the future,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Working with the City of Lynn, we have taken measurable steps to ensure the preservation of critical infrastructure and environmental resources while positioning the community to recognize tremendous economic redevelopment and energy savings opportunities.”
“We created the LEAD team to better coordinate the efforts of our local, state, and federal government,” said Representative Brendan Crighton. “Though there is much more work to be done, I’m proud to say that through these efforts we have been able to make real progress with economic development Downtown and on our Waterfront.”
“This is exciting news for Lynn, and a tangible marker of the Baker administration’s continued support for the city,” said Representative Lori Ehrlich. “The administration’s partnership in envisioning comprehensive economic development for Lynn has been instrumental in making today possible.”
“What the LEAD team has been able to accomplish over the last 18 months shows just how effective collaboration can be when federal, state and local officials are all working together to achieve a common goal,” said Representative Donald Wong. “I am looking forward to continuing our efforts to raise awareness of the economic opportunities that are available in Lynn, and to encourage more businesses and developers to invest in the community.”
Launched in November 2015 as a cross-governmental working group aimed at promoting community revitalization in Lynn by aligning economic development initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels, the LEAD team has designees who meet monthly to review projects and track progress, and core team members who meet multiple times a year.