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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Joins Lynn Officials to Celebrate Groundbreaking of Breakwater and LEAD Team Accomplishments

MassWorks Infrastructure Program and Seaport Economic Council investments provided key support for public-private partnership
For immediate release:
12/11/2019
  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Seaport Economic Council

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Joins Lynn Officials to Celebrate Groundbreaking of Breakwater and LEAD Team Accomplishments

Ryan Boehm, Deputy Director of Communications

Governor Charlie Baker and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy joined Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee, Senator Brendan Crighton, Representative Dan Cahill, Representative Lori Ehrlich, local stakeholders and project leadership to break ground on Breakwater

LYNNToday, Governor Charlie Baker and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy joined Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee, Senator Brendan Crighton, Representative Dan Cahill, Representative Lori Ehrlich, local stakeholders and project leadership to break ground on Breakwater, a 331-unit apartment community to be built on Lynn’s North Harbor, and to celebrate the years-long work of the Lynn Economic Advancement and Development (LEAD) team.
 
State investments in public infrastructure have helped the City of Lynn begin to transform its waterfront into a vibrant, livable, and accessible mixed-use district, including the new housing development and public harborwalk currently under construction. The City of Lynn received a $1.2 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant in 2016 to make intersection and roadway improvements, and install a new water line connection, in support of the redevelopment of the former site of the Beacon-Bel Chevrolet site adjacent to Lynn’s North Harbor where Breakwater will soon stand.
 
Additionally, the Seaport Economic Council awarded a $1 million infrastructure grant to ensure the long-term integrity and protection of the shoreline by constructing or repairing seawalls and other structures along the North Harbor. These upgrades included approximately 1,140 feet of new Articulating Concrete Block Mat (ACBM), a coastal engineering structure used to prevent erosion and stabilize the shoreline, and the repair of approximately 140 feet of existing granite block seawalls.
 
“I am pleased to see this vacant site transformed into a housing community, green space and a public harborwalk, and our administration is proud to be a partner through two critical infrastructure grants,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This development is one more collaborative success through the Lynn Economic Advancement and Development working group, and we look forward to this effort to streamline permitting and troubleshoot regulatory challenges being replicated in Gateway Cities across the Commonwealth.”
 
“Infrastructure upgrades are often necessary to move a project from plans to groundbreaking, and our administration is pleased to invest MassWorks Infrastructure Program and Seaport Economic Council funding into housing for residents of Lynn,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “From roadway reconfiguration to utility relocation to the rebuilding of a seawall, we are eager to partner with cities and towns through the MassWorks program and the other state resources we make available to assist communities in unlocking economic development opportunities and new housing.”
 
In November 2015, Governor Baker, Congressman Seth Moulton, and other state, local and community leaders announced the launch of the Lynn Economic Advancement and Development (LEAD) Team, a cross-governmental working group to promote community revitalization in the city of Lynn by aligning economic development initiatives among federal, state and local officials. The working group met quarterly to coordinate community planning efforts, address difficult cross-jurisdictional issues, and enable expedited permitting and development on underutilized real estate parcels.
 
Over the past four years, the LEAD team has made significant progress in development efforts in downtown and on the waterfront. Some successes have included, but are not limited to:

  • MassWorks Infrastructure Program grants awarded by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
     
    • A $1.8 million grant in 2019 to reconstruct a quarter mile stretch of Washington Street connecting downtown to the waterfront.
       
      • More than $7 million across two grants in 2017 to address long-standing roadway infrastructure deficiencies and upgrade congested intersections in downtown, and support infrastructure needed to expand the YMCA of Metro North’s Lynn facility.
         
      • As noted above, a $1.2 million MassWorks grant in 2016 for intersection and roadway improvements, and the installation a new water line connection in support of new housing development along the city’s North Harbor district.
         
  • In November 2019, the Baker-Polito Administration and the General Electric Foundation combined to provide $4.5 million towards the advanced manufacturing workforce on the North Shore, including $2 million from the Skills Capital Grant program for new equipment at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute.
     
  • In 2018, Governor Baker signed legislation authorizing the state Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) to sell the historic Lynn Armory Neighborhood Development Associates, Inc., which plans to renovate the historic building into apartment homes for military veterans.
     
  • In June 2018, the Baker-Polito Administration celebrated the completion of the 71-unit Gateway North Apartment, the first project to receive funding from the administration’s Workforce Housing Initiative that supports the production of middle-income homes. The project also received substantial support from the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) and MassHousing.
     
  • The Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development (LHAND) acquired three vacant parcels of land from General Electric (GE) with the intent to restore the neighborhoods with infill housing and homeownership opportunities.
     
  • Working closely with EEA, DCR is designing improvements to reactivate the North and South Harbors of the Lynn Waterfront.  First, more than $360,000 in assistance was provided to help the City produce a Waterfront Open Space Plan, which has been approved by the City Council, to guide the creation of a waterfront walk way and other open spaces.  In addition, more than $9 million will be provided through the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) capital budget to repair and enhance agency properties along the waterfront, including Heritage State Park. Lynn Heritage State Park is currently at 75% design, with anticipated construction in FY21, and will approximately cost $9 million. The rehabilitation work at Willis Fish Pier is anticipated to start in the spring, and will cost $1 million. The combined total for current plans is $10 million, although with future phases to the accessibility of the waterfront at South Harbor we anticipate the total to reach $13 million.
     
  • Beyond Walls, an award-winning arts and downtown community leader, emerged in 2017 in response to a TDI-funded Downtown Action Strategy that identified a need for additional public art. With the help of MassDevelopment’s TDI fellow Joe Mulligan, the organization launched a Commonwealth Places crowdfunding campaign raising over $230,000 in donations, matching funds, and additional grant awards to support its first mural festival. Through its three annual mural festivals the organization has created a total of 46 building-sized murals featuring acclaimed local, regional, national, and international artists; installed 600 linear feet of interactive and permanent LED Lighting to underpasses (Central Square, Washington Street and Market Street); added 11 pieces of light-emitting vintage neon artworks; and conserved a 1942 jet engine (to be installed at Lynn City Hall) as a testament to Lynn's industrial roots. In FY19, Beyond Walls launched a Commonwealth Places crowdfunding campaign to activate a vacant waterfront parcel adjacent to the city’s marine transportation facility with art installations, performance space, recreational amenities, and more.
     
  • As noted above, the city received $1 million in 2017 to support the construction of a seawall to support a Harbor walk along the city’s coastline along the North Harbor development site.
     
  • In 2017, 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.
     
  • DHCD granted tax credits valued at $1.4 million under the department’s Housing Incentive Development Program (HDIP) in 2017 to create 48 new units of market rate rental housing and ground floor commercial space at 23 Central Street, adaptive reuse of a former office building.
     
  • MassDOT is leading an effort to evaluate short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations to identify how transit services in Lynn better meet residents’ needs. The effort involves analysis of the current the transportation systems, including travel patterns, bus ridership and delay, commuter rail usage, and access challenges, as well as the potential market demand for future services. MassDOT is working closely with an Advisory Committee made up of elected officials and local organizations and the City to elicit feedback and advance shorter-term bus priority concepts. MassDOT is also coordinating with other system-wide efforts, including Rail Vision and Bus Network Redesign, on aspects of those projects relevant to Lynn.
     
  • A $1.5 million effort to design and permit the Northern Strand shared use path, which will span ten miles from the Mystic River through the communities of Everett, Lynn, Malden, Revere, and Saugus to Lynn Shore Reservation is complete.  Bids have been received and the signing of a construction contract, which will cost $13.7 million and take about two years, is imminent. 
     
  • The City of Lynn has received two grants from the Planning Grant Program of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs - $50,000 in FY20 to draft a Housing Production Plan and $50,000 in FY19 to produce zoning overlay districts to support economic development and open space preservation.

“Massachusetts is facing a housing crisis, and the Baker-Polito Administration applauds the City of Lynn for taking advantage of state programs, including MassWorks, to unlock private investment in new housing across income levels,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “The LEAD team’s work these last four years demonstrates what is possible when government comes together to cut through the permitting and regulatory red tape to move transformative economic development projects forward.”
 
“The City of Lynn’s waterfront area is a vital resource with tremendous potential for both the community and the region as a whole, and today’s groundbreaking represents a major milestone for the tremendous work done by municipal and state officials, and other key stakeholders,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Importantly, the redevelopment of this area, and the inclusion of parks and other open spaces in the process, will have a long lasting, positive impact on local residents for years to come.”
 
“These exciting new projects underscore what we can achieve when the Commonwealth and municipalities collaborate together,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.   “We look forward to continuing to support Lynn to maintain the momentum these investments have generated.”
 
“Today is a momentous occasion for the City of Lynn,” said Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “This groundbreaking is 40 years in the making and would not have been possible without an incredible amount of collaboration and partnership across a number of state and local departments, as well as the private sector. This complex project includes both public and private investment, and I am grateful to everyone who diligently worked to get this across the finish line.”  
 
“From Lynn Tech, where we just helped land a major expansion of the school’s workforce development offerings; to the seaport, where we are advancing a project to rebuild after severe storms; to the Lynnway, where the waterfront we are breaking ground on today is one of our best kept secrets; the LEAD team is ushering in a new generation of jobs and development in Lynn," said Congressman Seth Moulton. "This is proof that anything is possible when there's good leadership and a community committed to working together."

"This project would not be possible without the hard work and collaboration of all levels of government, the private sector, and the entire Lynn community,” said Senator Brendan Crighton. “In addition to the many benefits of this transit-oriented development, residents will also be able to enjoy improved connectivity to our waterfront including a fully accessible boardwalk."
 
“Many thought this day would never come, but here Lynn is on the verge of a new era for development on its waterfront bringing with it public access, housing, and needed tax revenues,” said Representative Dan Cahill. “None of this would be possible without the support of Lynn residents nor the unprecedented public/private partnership between Minco and City, State, and Federal governments.”
 
“As a coastal city so close to Boston, Lynn is the quintessential diamond in the rough," said Representative Lori Ehrlich. "This is why it is so exciting to see developers investing in its future this way. I am proud to join my colleagues on the LEAD Team as we break ground on another project moving Lynn forward."

Breakwater is a 331-unit apartment community currently under construction on the former site of Beacon-Bel Chevrolet. This site, with frontage on Lynn Harbor, has been vacant for over 35 years. Two podium style buildings are currently under development. Building A includes 219 units in five stories over two levels of above ground parking, as well as 4,000 square feet of leasing office space and amenity offerings on the first floor. Building B includes 112 units in four stories over one level of on-grade parking. In addition to the first-floor amenity spaces, Building A will have two courtyards containing seating areas and a water feature. A publicly accessible waterfront harborwalk will be constructed along the harbor frontage of the site.
  
“We enthusiastically embrace the Breakwater North Harbor project which has been nearly 7 years in the making and are proud to create housing and employment opportunities by contributing to the economic revitalization of Lynn. Working with our local and state officials and our business partners in a collaborative effort has made this project possible,” said Louis P. Minicucci, Jr. of Minco Development Corporation.
 
 “We are proud to bring four generations of real estate management experience to Lynn. Breakwater represents a new housing opportunity for the City, in a unique waterfront location. We sincerely appreciate the City and State’s efforts and partnership in making the Breakwater project a reality,” said Andrew K. Dolben, Executive Vice President at The Dolben Company, Inc.

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Joins Lynn Officials to Celebrate Groundbreaking of Breakwater and LEAD Team Accomplishments

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development 

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development promotes vibrant communities, growing businesses, and a strong middle class.

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito

Seaport Economic Council 

The Seaport Economic Council helps coastal communities develop and improve local assets to facilitate economic growth. The Seaport Council serves all 78 of Massachusetts’ diverse coastal communities and helps each to use their unique economic assets to grow the economy and unlock job creation. The Council also awards grants to create jobs and build resilience to climate change.
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