Tuesday, March 30, 2010

All Care VNA - Some facts from the President Shawn Potter

I was able to speak with Shawn Potter, President of All Care VNA. Thank you to whoever let him know about us. Apparently emailing his own Media email address is not as effective as you readers letting him know personally :-)

I wanted to share with you some facts I was able to get about the space being developed.

1. No cafeteria in the plan. This is GOOD!

2. They are combining workers from 2 buildings in Lynn with 75 new employees from Wakefield for a total of 350-400 employees in Lynn (not sure why the range, but I guess we can assume those 75 from Wakefield will be new to us). 275 employees live in Lynn, MA. This means some new foot traffic for the Downtown during the day to patronize our Downtown eateries and retail outlets.

3. They service nearly 10,000 citizens in Lynn, MA

4. They will be making a payment in lieu of taxes (Non-profits are not required to pay anything in the state of MA). The amount is not finalized nor public at this time.

There is no commerical space planned. There are designs available at City Hall. Not sure how to get my hands on those, but if I can, I'm told I can share them with you.  I know they will be displayed on April 13th at City Council.

Just the facts for this post. See you all on April 13th.

He left me with a question that I believe has a short-sighted answer if you ask the City of Lynn or State of MA.  If it's such a strategic location, why hasn't anyone bid on it in the past 20 years? Let the comments begin!



  1. It's green space. It's public space. That's a huge reason why no one has bid on it. Did the city recently offer it for a bid? I have to add too.. There are not going to be a ton of new people walking around downtown during work hours... They are working during work hours. There are already tons of place downtown with lots of staff who don't venture out into the downtown, and if some of these people already work here, it's really not going to have the additional impact needed to keep a slew of businesses afloat. What is the average pay of the person working for their organization. That is a better question. What are their interests?

  2. I am all for VNA coming to Lynn but not that location - keep it green - keep it for all of us to enjoy the space and as a welcome mat to downtown. There are buildings on Oxford Street and throughout the area for sale that can be rehabbed for the VNA - Visiting Nurses are not sitting in offices all day - they are out visiting housebound patients.

  3. No one has bid on it in the past 20 years because for the past 20 years Downtown Lynn was admittedly a scary place.

    It isn't a scary place anymore, and it's time for the City to stop acting desperate when a developer wants to do something here. We can actually afford to hold high standards, now.

  4. Mary Ellen, I love nature but a grass island isn't exactly my idea of "green" space. Grass and its upkeep are not good for the environment. Anyway there is a large park with sculptures and benches in front of NSCC, across from the proposed building.

    We need a structure to block the view of the hideous parking garage and to make DTL more inviting as an urban center, not as a suburban center. We need storefronts right up to the sidewalks, but yes, also pocket parks with trees, public art, and benches to hang out in and enjoy. There's enough room for both on that property.

    I understand your position on using existing buildings in DTL, though. It would be nice to see them restored and put to good use. But in addition to that, I believe we need to fill in some of the gaps left in our neighborhood by what has been torn down.

  5. not many knew it was for sale.

    not many had the right amount of $$$ to do the right thing for the space.

    and by what I see, the right thing isn't being done now for that matter

  6. More people, more jobs, more residents. More people to shop at some of the places on Union Street or eat on Monroe Street.
    I would imagine they would employ people from cleaning the building to doctors overseeing treatment plans.

    Your right there are lots of office staff in downtown during the day. I wonder why some of these goat cheese bistros don't open for lunch.
    Its been empty 20yrs--kudos to them for expanding!

    Green space. Its downtown Lynn!

  7. Anon 1 - The state put it up for bid. I think they need the city's help in re-zoning, but I could be off on this. I'm still getting educated.

    Mary Ellen - This was my point. He suggested that the retail spaces on those streets by filled, before adding new ones in his building. So short-sighted.

    Anon 2 - As with everything in this city, we come to this very late in the game. Been in the works for a year with Phelan and others. It comes out for public hearing at the time when we can really do little about it. Also, I would like to understand how the land was advertised???

  8. the new building is not only important for the current years, but it should be set up right for the 100 years past this date where storefronts are setup and filled at bottom levels!

    if they care about the people of Lynn so much, they will do the right thing I hope and add storefronts below.

  9. Anastaysha,

    I'm going to assume you weren't poking fun at these businesses owners and explain.

    The Blue Ox currently begins prep at 7 AM for dinner. The kitchen space simply isn't big enough to allow prep space for lunch as well. That's what I've been told.

    Turbine plans on expanding its' schedule once it gets it's feet off the ground.

    Pho Lynn, Fernandos, Tacos Lupita, Brother's Deli, Flavaz and Capitol Diner all serve lunch. Eastern Bank employees eat in their cafeteria.

    I do think (if they are actually expanding the workforce downtown and not just including numbers from their offsite nursing staff) that this is the only positive. Just not enough to swing me over to the other side, considering all the other cons.

  10. I'm out. Seriously. When the state doesn't care, and the city cares less, really, what's the point. The MBTA might as well just run the whole damn downtown. For the people, by the people. What a crock. For the dollar, by the dollar. If they cared about Lynn, they would do what RAW did. Take an old building, fix it up, and add to the community. Taking away one of the last green spaces, adding another dark corridor that needs to be watched by the police, making the entry to the city even more foreboding, slap a big fence around it to show just how much you trust the neighborhood. Why don't we knock down a few of the buildings and put a jail some where downtown too. We'll have people caring for the unfortunate from birth to death all in the same spot. Way to go.

  11. Corey,
    don't even waste your time on the negative comments.
    thank them for prepping the rest of us with the finding the right answers :)

    they won't waste their time to go to the meeting anyways.

  12. shame on their designers for not suggesting street level use...
    well can't blame them for performing for a pay check, and can't blame them if they are not from Lynn too to understand either.

    I doubt the drawings propose a historical looking building either, because if it did, they would of noticed to add storefronts from their research and site studies.

  13. I want to be fair to All Care VNA. This is not their failure. They are geniuses to snatch up this land. This is the failure of the state and city to properly plan WHAT should go WHERE in this city.

  14. I care. I want my city back. Can we organize a protest so others are aware.
    I'm a new resident and want to be heard.

  15. People may miss the positive articles about Raw Arts...they may miss the stories about the Food Project, the Blue Ox or Turbine. They may miss many of the small developments that are building positive momentum BUT they will not miss a construction crane rising over Downtown Lynn

    This has the potential to act as a physical manifestation of progress coming to DTL.

    I agree that this is an important site. I agree that grade level retail would be preferred. I also concede that historical renovation and preservation is even more sustainable.

    But you don't miss a crane.

  16. and that is the definition of short-sighted.

    I have longer term plans for Downtown Lynn and at it's Gateways, there is stuff to do and see on the first level.

  17. DTL_MIKE,
    That is correct. I am advocating that the project in its current form is not the right fit for that plot of land.

    This weekend I walked the length of Market Street. After work yesterday, I drove up and down Market Street twice. Once you do that, if you really love Lynn, and care about it's future, I think you would be on my side of this.

    I have nothing against All Care VNA. I have nothing against them being there at all. However, An office building is the worst thing that can go on that piece of land. It's not what's supposed to go there. I noticed another medical building on Market Street and it looks horribly out of place (Pace something). Have you seen the Union Street area near Central Square lately. It's becoming a medical complex. Do we want the same thing to happen to Market.

    If we had a city planner, they would not allow any of this!!!

    The state paid a lot of money for the Market Street Vision plan. Why are we so willing to ignore good strategy?


  18. There are 2 for-profit subsidiaries under the VNA. The group is not entirely non-profit. The VNA changed its philosophy in 1987. This is a loophole, cheating the tax payers of Lynn. Check out the VNA Ventures, Inc. and All Care Infusion Inc. Shawn Potter made over 420,000 in compensation one year just for the non-profit.


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