News Governor Baker Signs Bill Approving Sale of Lynn Armory

Legislation will enable historic facility to be developed into veterans’ housing
  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
  • Executive Office for Administration and Finance
  • Governor's Press Office
  • Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance

Media Contact for Governor Baker Signs Bill Approving Sale of Lynn Armory

Brendan Moss, Press Secretary, Governor's Office

Governor Baker and Secretary Uréna in Lynn.

LYNNToday, Governor Charlie Baker joined  Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee, legislators and members of the Baker-Polito Administration for a ceremonial bill signing for legislation authorizing the sale of the historic Lynn Armory to a city nonprofit, which plans to renovate the historic building into apartment homes for military veterans.

“This project is a great example of how our Administration’s Open for Business initiative works to return underutilized state assets to beneficial public use,” said Governor Baker. “Through collaboration with Lynn officials, we have found a fitting legacy for the Armory building, which served members of the military for more than a century, and will now continue to provide service to our veterans.”

“We are grateful to members of the Lynn legislative delegation, Mayor McGee and the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development for working hard to see this bill through,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Developing new housing for veterans in our communities is an important way to support those who have sacrificed so much.”

The legislation, H. 4265, authorizes the state Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to sell the former Lynn Armory to Neighborhood Development Associates, Inc., a non-profit housing corporation that is overseen by a board of directors and managed administratively by the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development (LHAND).

The legislation requires that the castle-style Armory on South Common Street, which was built in 1893 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, be used to provide veterans’ services, including housing.  The nonprofit plans to renovate the building to create approximately 35 rental apartments. LHAND also envisions linking the new housing development to supportive services that the organization offers to veterans.

“Long after their original mission has ended, it is encouraging to see Commonwealth-owned facilities like the Lynn Armory repurposed to serve their communities in critically important ways, and especially in this case, to serve our veterans,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Michael J. Heffernan. “All over Massachusetts we are working to ensure that the Commonwealth’s capital assets are being put to their highest and best use - or as in this case, re-use.”

“The reimagining of the Lynn Armory illustrates the transformative work Governor Baker charged the Lynn Economic Advancement & Development Team to pursue,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Beginning in 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has worked with local and federal officials, along with community groups and the private sector, to provide tools and resources to enable Lynn to achieve its economic vision. Our work has been far-reaching and includes a major push on housing: market rate, mixed-income, transit-oriented housing projects, and workforce – such as the recently opened Gateway North residences. We look forward to continuing our partnership to make Lynn Armory a welcoming home to our local veteran community.”

“This disposition is exactly what the Baker-Polito Administration’s Open for Business Initiative is all about,” said Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance Commissioner Carol Gladstone. “DCAMM was pleased to collaborate with our partners across state government and the City of Lynn to take the first steps towards turning this underutilized state asset into veterans’ housing.”

“It’s great to see the iconic Lynn Armory building be repurposed to address a serious need for our veterans,” said Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “The veterans housing project will enhance the efforts currently undertaken by LHAND and the Veterans Services Department to support veterans. I want to thank Governor Baker and the Lynn delegation for supporting this legislation. I also would like to thank LHAND Director Charlie Gaeta for undertaking this process and helping the city ensure that our veterans have access to the services they need.”

“LHAND’s vision for Veterans’ housing shows not only an exemplary level of commitment and care to the Commonwealth’s Veterans but also outstanding foresight with regards to redevelopment of an aging and underutilized property,” said Senator Brendan Crighton, Senate sponsor of the bill. “This outside of the box thinking is truly remarkable and represents the kind of innovative projects that Massachusetts desperately needs in this time of housing scarcity.”

“It is fitting that the preservation of the Lynn Armory, where troops were trained and deployed into service for over 100 years, will include quality housing for our returning veterans,” said Representative Daniel Cahill, House sponsor of the bill. “The Legislature and Governor unanimously supported this legislation because NDA's creative proposal was the perfect redevelopment of an underutilized state asset into veteran housing.”

“This is exactly the type of project we all should embrace, and I congratulate Mayor McGee, Lynn Housing, and Neighborhood Development Associates for making it possible,” said Representative Lori Ehrlich. “I also want to thank Governor Baker for his administration’s continued support for economic development in Lynn – project after project, we are moving the city forward together.”

“This bill will enhance the much needed programs and services for our local veterans,”said Representative Donald Wong. “The possibility of adding housing would be beneficial to our homeless veterans that have served our country.”

“To be able to preserve this historic and significant building and reprogram it to house our veterans’ population is a huge win for both the City of Lynn and the State. I can’t imagine a more appropriate reuse of this landmark, and we are thankful to the Baker-Polito Administration and Lynn’s state delegation for the opportunity,” said LHAND Executive Director Charles Gaeta. “Two years ago, the City of Lynn was the first city in the state to be certified as effectively eliminating veterans’ homelessness, and we are excited for this new challenge to continue our efforts in housing those who have sacrificed for our country.”

“This is an exciting piece of legislation that will transform this neighborhood and allow for the full use and potential of this magnificent, historical structure to be achieved,”said Lynn City Council President Darren Cyr. “I wish to thank Governor Baker, the Lynn delegation, Mayor McGee, and LHAND Director Charles Gaeta for having the foresight to recognize the importance of redeveloping this site which overlooks our recently upgraded Lynn Commons.”  

“Lynn’s effort to preserve and revitalize the Armory for veterans’ housing addresses a critical need,” said Lynn Director of Veterans Services Michael Sweeney. “The passion and innovation behind this project honors veterans past and present.”

About Open for Business

With the Commonwealth as the largest landowner in Massachusetts, Governor Baker in 2015 issued a challenge to state agencies across government to protect natural resources, create economic opportunity, build housing, manage these lands with professionalism and creativity, and generate appropriate revenue from leases and other partnerships. This program is called “Open for Business.”

Since the program’s launch in 2015, there are over 100 projects in 47 municipalities, across 1,000 acres, driving the production of more than 2,200 units of housing on state land. For more information on Open for Business, please click here.

Media Contact for Governor Baker Signs Bill Approving Sale of Lynn Armory

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