Saturday, February 6, 2010

$4,000 bucks.... and you don't have to give it back?

Isn't $4,000 a lot of money? Every storefront can get a $4,000 grant from the OECD as part of the Community Block program. Across the street looks like a war zone with abandoned Mayo(naisse) Group property.  The space soon to be occupied by Turbine Wine Bar looks very nice with the little "tease" he put in the window. I can't wait to see what his sign looks like. The electrics have been up for months, but still no sign. I have been told recently that he is definitely going to open. He is making sure everything is perfect. We will all benefit from the care he's taking to make this the next big thing in Downtown Lynn. Past Turbine you have the clothing store which looks good as well.

Now back to our side of the street. The storefronts in Central Square need serious help. Omar & Oscar and all the way up to R.A.W. looks awesome.   They recently took down the art installation near R.A.W.  I was hoping that meant they were starting to see interest in using the space for something useful, but not sure. As you come up the street further we have our new favorite business, East Coast Karate, but they've chosen to just place posters and pieces of paper in their windows. It's starting to not look very pleasant already. Don't even get me started on Poblano's Market. I can't even read the signs they put up. They now put wooden boards over a few windows to prevent break-ins at night. UGH! The sign that is readable was made using "Print Shop" on an old Apple IIc.... At least, that's what it looks like. Things improve a bit as you move towards Flavaz, the new Christian candle shop (Las Tres Virtudes), 7 Central Square (the coolest loft building in Lynn...) and Dunkins.

The OECD tells me that businesses are actively sought out for this program. I wonder then... why they would choose not to work with the city to get the $4,000 and improve the look and function of the entrance to their store.  Do they not want the trouble of working with the city appointed architect? Do they not want the issues that may arise with ISD? Any business owners out there who have taken advatange of this? Any who have chosen not to?

As Downtowners - I think we need to spread the word to business owners who need to go after this money.

Here is the contact information as listed on the OECD website

James Marsh
Development Director
P. 781-586-6770
F. 781-477-7026

Donald Walker
Director of Project Operations
P. 781-586-6778


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. but...before the 'actions'

    I would create an educational package first to help these business understand. Giving them ideas on what they could do different and how they can receive help, and an understanding of how it will help their business grow and help the community. Maybe they just don't know any better.

    then if they do not agree...then take action with petitions and letters of concern directly to these business.

  3. Another great thing about downtown lynn is that it is now populated with small business owners, where as before it was nestled with large corporations.

    we need to find a way to help support these small business, and give them a guiding light.

    I'm willing to do something about this.

  4. Do they have a good flyer that you could bring to local businesses, explaining the terms simply?

    Is the flyer available in multiple languages?

    If the answer to either of those is no, would you/they like a student at Salem State to design something? I have students in need of small projects, so let me know.

  5. Interesting. I'd love a free 4K! I am calling them on Monday. Thanks for the info!

    I don't think Turbine is opening. Wasn't it last Valentines day they were planning their grand opening?

    Poblanos is an occupied store front right? Its a great business. His sign is retro and works. Its downtown Lynn and the poor owners have to put boards up so people don't steal his inventory. It's so hard keeping your head above water in this economy. I am happy with any store front. Small steps, and anchor businesses are what keeps things going.

    I'm confused that anyone would offer advice and if they did not take it take action against them???

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    I have a huge crayon drawing my kid did in my window. I'd love to see someone petition me to take that down. lol

  6. I'll take some better pictures of Poblano's storefront. There is no beauty for the beholder or the external viewer.

    I think for the most part it's a lack of knowledge about the program. I'm glad you learned about this today through

    While you're on the phone ask about the very LOW interest loans through EDIC. I'll be writing more on that soon.


  7. Anonymous... if crayon art work was a sign, it would look better.

    There are many storefronts all over the city.. not just in downtown, which appear to need this funding.

    Good luck on yours! :)

  8. its been about 15-20 years now, with some of these storefronts around the city. so apologies if the patience runs out even after advice is given. :).
    at least I would offer my help first.

    If anyone in the city needs help with design consultation of their storefronts, please feel free to also contact me. I would love to help pro-bono.

  9. I'm thinking we take Rebecca up on her offer for the Salem State interns to develop some materials for us. We include the messaging from the OECD (in several languages) as well as your offer for pro-bono services and start to target a few at a time.

  10. Corey,
    I'll do some more research on signage, regarding the Zoning Laws of Lynn and neighboring towns.

    I know we are not asking for too much,
    I have read the descriptions used in the Zoning Laws of Lynn, and they are strict, but very vague at the same time.
    In one of our neighboring towns for which I did work in, their Zoning laws work great and allow for creativity.

  11. Wonder why city hall hasn't done much in the last few years? too :(

    i was curious one day and read through the backgrounds of our city workers. I was disappointed to see that everyone has a background in financing or law...everything, but urban design or something like that.

    I am who I am... ip address :)

  12. there's also a serious lack of marketing and communication in this city.

    Downtown Lynn and other independent publishers are doing a great job so far!

  13. Knowing about the program is half the battle. The city also has to earn the trust of small business owners, especially those who (rightly or wrongly) have felt themselves to be the wrong end of ISD.


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