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Friday, June 11, 2010

You've Got Mail, Mr. Potter - All Care VNA and Site Plan Review

No one seems to know when this site plan review is going to happen. All Care VNA has not submitted their plan yet, according to Councilor Crighton. I already can see how the schedule will work out here, but I won't describe it, in case I'm wrong. I don't want to give anyone ideas.

I have to admit. Getting Shawn Potter all riled up is not fun, and certainly never has it been the intent. Just an interesting side effect, I guess, of trying to do what's right for our Historic Downtown Lynn.  Readership on this blog is doing very well and that is partly due to the multitudes of allcare domains visiting this site. So, now that we know you're reading.... are you listening? I emailed Shawn Potter earlier in the week in hopes that I could share with you some of his thoughts as he prepares for the site plan review with Mike Donovan (head of ISD), Brendan Crighton (Ward 5 Councilor), and a host of others.  As you've seen before, when people are willing to share thoughts, I share them with you

For those of you who are wondering what the hell I am talking about, I think the best post to get you up to speed is here. The link in the above paragraph was what Shawn Potter wanted me to share with the readers of downtownlynn.com.  The Market Street Vision Plan, that our City Council is currently ignoring, was written about in this post. Our three points are documented here (retail first floor, build out to the street, no fence). At the neighborhood meeting, the VNA felt under attack, but that was not the intent. Finally, the public hearing was held and a giant middle finger was placed high in the air to half the room. This left us with a site plan review as our only option of getting what's right for Lynn in that space at the corner of Broad and Market. City Council == BIG FAIL on this one.  While Crighton seemed to understand what was right for Downtown, the rest of the council didn't seem willing to care (and/or had personal interests in VNA All Care and were left out of the vote)!

So.....(deep breath).... that brings us to where we are today, and an opportunity to influence the building aesthetic. Most who spoke in opposition and even some who spoke in favor want a building that blends with the historical aspects of downtown. No one wants the beginnings of a suburban office park to sprout up at the gateway to Lynn's Historic Cultural Area.

So....

1. The building must be designed for future 1st floor retail (PERIOD). Anything else is short sighted and an extreme issue for the future viability of a downtown with any hope of having a real retail presence in the future. It doesn't matter if that floor is cubes and lobby space, but it should be designed with the future use in mind.

2. The building should be built out to the corner of Broad and Market. A set back from these two main streets makes NOOOOOOOOO sense for a Downtown building. NONE. Zero percent sense.  Put the green space, park, parking, etc behind the building.

3. I assume there is no fence. If there is still a fence in this plan, Phelan needs to let it go......Period.

We can now add a fourth, since Mr. Potter promised to place video surveillance behind the building. With the recent rape of a young female in the elevator in that MBTA alley MAZE, this would seem to make a TON of sense. I have every reason to believe that Mr. Potter will keep his word on this, if...for nothing else.... the safety of his employees.


I can't draw to save my life, but lucky for us, Katerina can. Now.... whatever you think of Katerina, please keep that out of the comments. Think about the high points of this design. Built to the street, incredible design and blend into its neighborhood. The tower and/or grass roof I could take or leave, but the over arching idea of this design and it's incredible respect for where it is going makes it something worth taking into account. I know she's met with Mr. Potter. I really HOPE he listened. Let me check my email......... Nope, nothing from Shawn.

With an extreme love for Downtown Lynn and it's Gateway Plot of Prime Real Estate, I implore you all to care as much as we do for how this thing is going to look. We will live with this for the rest of our lives. Long after All Care VNA has moved into something even bigger.

Best of luck to the Site Plan Review members. I know you all have a Lynner's heart and will try your best to do the right thing.

-Corey

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