Great show about giving the City of Lynn a chance on NPR at lunch today. Great job by Jim Cowdell of the EDIC and Adam Riley, a WGBH correspondent who recently swept through our city trying to figure out how we as residents of this great place, get past the raised eyebrow when we tell people we are from Lynn.
Emily Rooney opened with the right highlights. Gorgeous coast lines, proximity to Boston, cheap real estate, burgeoning downtown, and now... development on the Southern Waterfront.
Adam Riley took the mic first and explained that he had lived here for 5 years near the water. Loved how diverse and cosmopolitan Lynn was when he lived here. Walk, run, or bicycle down Lynn shore Drive along the Atlantic ocean and hear many different languages. Go into the downtown and various neighborhoods throughout Lynn and enjoy many different cuisines from many different cultures. He said he loved living in Lynn but felt he had to defend it whenever he told someone where he lived. "Well I live in Lynn, but right on the Swampscott line" or "I live in Lynn, but I just rent, we are saving to buy a house somewhere else." His program tonight on Greater Boston will attempt to dive into that question. How do we get past the stigma! It made me think a bit about my own approach to living in this great city. Is this blog a celebration of who we are or a giant defensive statement against who you think we are? Maybe a little of both.
Jim Cowdell from the EDIC also joined Adam and Emily on the program. He hit on the rezoning of the city in 2004 which led to $35 million in development and the influx of 250 residents downtown. He made some great forward looking strategic statements. The approach is about residents first, commercial second. Get that number to 500. Bring more of those priced out of the Boston market to Lynn. Speaking personally, I am so happy to live among these neighbors. An incredible place to be as a young professional working in Boston.
Matt O'Neil got a few sound bites related to the Blue Ox success in Downtown Lynn. One thing that really stuck out was his comment amount building great things. His restaurant is truly a great dining spot. It makes coming to Lynn for dinner an experience. He draws people in from Peabody, Middleton, Nahant, the North End and all over the Greater Boston area. Build it and they will come does work when it's the right thing and has a certain level of quality associated with it.
Cowdell got to plug the 4.5% loans for small business looking to open up shop in our Downtown. You can even fund up to 50K in startup costs through these 4.5% loans. Finally, the establishment of the Arts & Culture District in a very specific area of the Downtown will lead to further creative opportunities both through arts organizations and opportunities for digital media, graphic design, photography, performance, and visual art related jobs.
Tonight at 7PM, watch WGBH's Greater Boston for more about Lynn, MA. In the words of EDIC director Jim Cowdell, "You will fall in love with our city, if you give us a shot!"