Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Don't Take This the Wrong Way, All Care VNA

Seriously, it's not's me...   I mean I like you and all, but we just don't seem to want the same things.....

Ok, enough joking around... This is serious!

My point is....this has nothing to do with All Care VNA, it could be Eastern Bank trying to expand and we'd have the same issues.

You can be Floor 2 through heaven for all I care, but you can't have our ground level. It doesn't work long term, for what will be the premiere retail location in all of Downtown Lynn and leaves the area dead during non-work hours.

The main point of today was to see the renderings and share our concerns. While I think the All Care VNA lawyer did an excellent job of presenting the plans and history of how we got to this point, it just gave me so many more questions for the city. Those went relatively unanswered tonight. Most of my questions were for the city. I really think the vendor building the office building is irrelevant, it's that it's an office building, that's the problem.

Surprise Number 1. So the prime piece of real estate which connects Central Square, Market Street, Washington Street Extension, and the Waterfront is up for bid and the city didn't know about it. I'm sorry....could you say that again?

The city was surprised about the bidding process??? What? They had no idea this parcel was up for bid?  I assume the city may have been a potential bidder had they known about it? Why didn't they know about it? Why wasn't that the states first ask? Did anyone else know about it? One of our most valuable pieces of land was put up for bid with a 925K minimum bid and no one else bid. The lawyer said All Care VNA got an invitation to bid. Bid 925K. Boom, it's yours. What does that mean? Anyone else get an invite?

Surprise Number 2. The city has been shopping them around town to various other locations. 

This one I knew a little about, but I didn't know the extent. They showed them an old school, they showed them the lot near Andrew Street where the fire was, they showed them a building on Central Ave. Nothing, apparently, met All Care VNA's needs. This could be entirely true, but....I ask the city...... why go through all the trouble of showing so many other spaces unless you really thought it was the wrong thing for the Gateway to Market Street.

Surprise Number 3. The building is a mini-Eastern Bank.

We were told the rendering would solve all our concerns. What we were shown was, as one commenter in the crowd said, a surburban office building set back from the road. It had nothing architecturally interesting from a Historic Lynn perspective. It looked awkwardly similar to the Eastern Bank office building across the street. Row of brick, row of glass, after row of brick, row of glass. Bottom floor lobby. Courtyard out front which all was entirely fenced in (not in the diagram, but on one of the blueprints).

There is a misunderstanding about the empty storefronts in Downtown Lynn. None of the viable storefronts are empty. I walk around Downtown and take pictures. I've profiled all the streets they are talking about in these meetings. There are some places that need to be demolished perhaps, but there aren't a whole lot of viable retail options. As a matter of fact, most of the viable storefronts have something in them and many have been filled in the past 6 months. In the past 3 we saw the opening of East Coast Karate, Fernando's, Turbine Wine Bar, and Dito's Corner Store.   They keep referring to the retail stores under the MBTA garage. First of all, there are very few storefronts there and NSCC has them all occupied. Does anyone even know they are available for rent?  I think the main issue is they aren't available, so of course there's nothing different in them. I feel a little insane having to explain that one.

A surburban office building, set back from the road with a perimeter fence.  Take a walk down Market Street sometime. I did....three times.. plus a driveby today before the meeting. You will realize in your heart that this is the wrong building for the Gateway to Market Street.

On the 13th.... Table this..... find a partner to bring retail and All Care VNA to that spot as one proposal.  We all know it's the right thing to do.  We all know it's the right vision and strategy for Market Street. We all know now what?

I know what I'm going to do....start working on my opposition speech for the 13th.

and... Thank you to for recording the meeting last night. You can watch it right now.



  1. Can we do more to stop this. We tried nicely to talk to them first, but seems no one is listening. How about a speech with signatures on it to submit?

  2. I think they are listening. They will listen even closer on the 13th. If you can get signatures on a petition even better. The most powerful thing you can do is talk to your ward councilor and any councilor at large about your concerns prior to the council meeting on the 13th.

    Then... show up and speak in favor or opposition. They will have plenty of folks there to speak in favor. We need to be there to speak up if we believe this is the wrong non-conforming use for that parcel of land.


  3. I feel the city workers are trying to save their own jobs, instead of the community.

    Admit it was a wrong decision from the beginning, and move on to fix it, instead of standing by the proposal. It makes a better leader to recognize the truths when presented to you, rather than ignoring them.

  4. All I can say is there better not be a fence around the perimeter. That sends TOTALLY the wrong message for a gateway location. More people working in downtown will be good but it needs help enhance the business atmosphere and redevelopment of the area.

  5. we need more than just no fence. We need storefronts at the bottom levels to bring life into the downtown area day and night. period

  6. If All Care is not allowed to build in downtown Lynn I'll bet they will move elsewhere, meaning NOT IN LYNN. You will lose hundreds of people each day coming to work in Lynn. You will lose employees buying lunch, shopping at shaws, getting gas, etc.

  7. But anon, if Allcare had wanted a chain link fence with razor wire and a corrugated metal building would you still be okay with that as long as they were still in Lynn?

    I know that would never happen, but at what place do you draw the line?

    I want them to stay in Lynn, too. I think we all do. We're not asking Allcare to move mountains for us.

  8. I personally think it's great that This organization wants to stay and invest in Lynn. I want them to stay. I also want the city to do what's best for all of its residents in the long run, not just what's best for one organization. There are 80k + people living in this city, who deserve a thriving downtown area. If VNA doesn't move in, someone else will.

    That someone else could be a company that opens up hundreds more jobs for Lynn residents and helps our local economy even more than this org would.

    Throw the store fronts on the bottom, create more jobs, bring in more taxes for the city, create more income for the VNA, offer more for the residents of Lynn in accordance with the plans that the city spent a ton of money towards to create a better future for our city, not just a long term easement of one non-profits' pockets. Win win.

  9. I'ld rather wait for the next best development.. who isn't afraid of downtown lynn by having a fence around it.

    can we get over the green space too? a patch of grass is not considered green space. this is an empty lot for construction. please let the building grow and hide the monstrosity behind it, so then maybe we can push for storefronts on the bottom level.

    and don't create another monstrosity by copying the nscc. pleazzzzz


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