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Monday, July 19, 2010

All Care VNA - They are Listening

I want to extend a great deal of appreciation to Brendan Crighton, Ward 5 Councilor and Shawn Potter, President of All Care VNA for their willingness to listen and come up with a few compromises based on initial feedback in both the neighborhood meeting and City Council session for their special permit.

Shawn Potter gave me a call and let me know that he didn't care who sees the current plans for the All Care development, so I have been able to review them.  There are some great changes in this plan.

1. Old Red Brick is now in the design to match the housing to the right instead of the initial rendering which looked more like an office building. The windows are still a bit office parkish, but I'll take it if we're getting a old-style brick look and feel.

2. The front corner has been changed and looks a whole lot better then that initial wall of glass.

3. I hear they may have plans for the roof, which I'm not sure is going to make it into the final plan. If it does, it would be a huge statement to the public that All Care VNA wants it's neighbors to enjoy the new development. I won't give it away until I know more.

4. There is no fence.

There are still some challenges in the design that must be overcome in order for it to make sense where it is going.

1. The current design still has the set back. BAD! It needs to come to the corner of Broad and Market. It needs to have a building right at Market street (not set back). I know they are looking into this. I guess there is a cost issue with cleanup of the soil. I'm hopeful that if this is something that All Care cannot afford, it can be made a city or state priority to clean it up!

2. The parking overhang - UGLY - It doesn't seem to make much sense. Can we just continue the building down and put the parking spaces behind it or on Broad Street side (or just enclose it like a little garage).

3. Little possibility for retail frontage conversion down the line. At least at first glance. Perhaps this is something that could be done with a little elbow grease in the future. I'm not sure just based on looking at the drawing.

It's starting to fit with the community it is embracing as it's home. It's starting to fit with the ideas of the Market Street Gateway. It's starting to fit with something the residents can stand in front of (or on top of) with signs saying "Welcome to Downtown Lynn."

Now... Let's go the rest of the way and bring that sucker right up to Market Street.

-Corey

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