Friday, March 18, 2011

Progress in Downtown Lynn Development Hinges on 33 Central and Hawthorne Property

A few weeks back I saw some workers on the second floor of 33 Central. Looked liked contractors checking the place out.  Could this be the Buyer we keep hearing about? Fingers crossed!   14 Central is still moving forward with RCG.  If both of these things happen we'll have 20-30 new residential units. This is fantastic progress.

33 Central would complete the puzzle of the odd-numbered side of Central Square. Next target will need to be that Mayo Group eyesore next to Turbine and then Central Square will be complete. We will get our Downtown built, even if we have to do it kicking and screaming and by dragging land and building owners back to the tables they deserted long ago.

The DTL residents, businesses and artists are bringing people to DTL.  We need to show these visitors that DTL is not an afterthought. Yes, that means YOU TOO - building owners. You are in this game too, whether you still want to be or not.

Jim Cowdell and the EDIC need to keep the pressure on the Owners of the Hawthorne.  This parcel is ripe for development. Supreme To Go, Cal's News, and 47 Central are blighted by this eyesore. The family should be completely ashamed of themselves. Letting it go since 2003 when SO MUCH DEVELOPMENT was going on from 2004-2008. It just doesn't make sense. Then to learn they actually had an offer on the place in 2008 (according to the Item). Then to learn they had a development plan in place and did NOTHING but sit on it. How long do we wait! They are holding hostage that square and once developed we can finally link Central Square to the gigantic lot on Andrew Street left vacant by the recent fire. 

The re-development of the  boarded up 33 Central and the taking of the old eyesore, Hawthorne's Restaurant are opportunities to continue the momentum we all are experiencing in Downtown Lynn.

Get behind the EDIC and our Councilors and we can keep moving forward. Get in the way and you're going to be pushed aside.



  1. Corey.....I applaud your efforts, but you can not just take someones Land. A Tax Payer. What about GE, or are they to big to pick on. The Factory of the Future....well the future is now, and that building just sits there. I hope to see those other developments come thru first, then maybe the Athanis family will see the growth and do something on thier own. Keep up the good work, and lets what happens, but the city as a whole is definately making steps n the right direction.....PD

  2. Agree. I applaud your efforts Corey but ditto everything PD said.

  3. YES! It is definitely time that the city officials and the developers really listen to the downtown residents. We as a community and first time home buyers took a chance on Lynn because we believed in the potential and we could see past the current state to what we knew it could become. While the economy has not helped the last few years, we can no longer sit idle. The wheels of progress are in motion and nothing should be allowed to stop that. If you are an elected official, a business owner, a property owner or a resident it is time to get with the program or get out of the way.

  4. Driving through West Lynn, I see so much need for development that could really turn this city around. If West Lynn was thriving, the rest of the city would follow. Tear down abandoned buildings through the whole city. Get a planning expert in here.

  5. In an ideal world all cities would take property that is not taken care of by eminent domain. I do not think Lynn will successfully do this. I hope they do not. It is unethical and wrong. I hope the Athanas family puts up a good fight and does not budge on this. We do not live in a Communist country.
    In Lynn every other property is empty or in bad shape? Why not take the property next door to your condo? That is in more worse shape and more of a hazard.
    The owners of the old Hawthorne do not have to accept offers, they do not have to develop the land. They were a staple in Lynn for years, when they left well that should tell you the area is what it is.
    I hope they bring the area up but this is wrong way to do so. Tax dollars and time can be so better spend on other issues much more pressing to the city. Start with the schools, start with the crimes on elderly, the gangs??
    Sadly the new social services buildings downtown slated to open will hurt the area even more. It almost makes more sense for them to embrace this population and grow it?
    Gesalt you made a bad investment as many did in the boom of market. So many people have lost their shirts in Lynn and even other parts of the country.
    I wish you all good luck. It does seem the arts area is growing but that is a small percentage of the population. You need to attract families into the city that want to stay and raise their children. Don't forget Salem has stolen a huge percentage of the arts group.

  6. We made a very good investment and the 5-0 vote of the EDIC board is behind us.

    The building right next to our condo is under agreement.

    Are you talking about the Lynn Community Health Center? If so, you have the wrong idea of what is going on there.

    You kind of sound like someone who hasn't been down here or if you have been, you weren't really looking around.

    Salem has grown the arts population on the North Shore and the stuff going on there is great. You will see the same happen in Lynn.

    I understand your concerns, but emminent domain is tool that we have in our democracy. It should be done open, transparent and fair to both sides.

    This is the right thing to do!


  7. I don't believe I made a bad investment. Like any investment there are up times and down times. If the economy had not taken a nose dive we'd still be sitting on investments valued at what we paid. I just know it is going to take a lot longer than I had originally hoped and planned to see my investment pay off. In the meantime I am not going to accept the gloom and doom, the finger pointing, the Lynn is crap so there is nothing you can do about it attitude. There has been amazing progress in downtown Lynn and it has come by the efforts of a very small group of people. Imagine what could be done if more people got involved and worked towards a better Lynn instead of being negative about everything.

  8. Eminent Domain is here for this exact reason. How long should the city wait to do something, three years, 5 years. The law was composed to allow cities to take private lands that are vital to the development and redevelopment of the city.

    Most of the complaints I hear from posters are that the city doesn't do anything/enough to improve the city. Now Cowdell takes a huge step and people still want to gripe.

    The city is not stealing the land. The Eminent Domain law protects the owners as they will be paid the price an independent appraiser puts on the property. The city of Lynn writes them a check and the parcel is not in play to be part of the urban planning process.

    All offices in City Hall Mayor, EDIC, City Council, Community Development should be applauded for this move.

  9. You people live in a self absorbed delusional world. Good luck to you.

  10. Anonymous, which anonymous are you? Are you anonymous #345 or anonymous #158? It's hard to tell you guys apart.

    I am sick of people shouting Communist and Socialist. McCarthyism is so 1950s.

  11. Here's what I dont get. Democracy- A tax paying building owner can have their building taken away.

    Here in Lynn - Non tax paying businesses get to put up buildings, that help the community little. Who eats lunch out everyday?

    These non tax paying business offer nothing appealing for downtown.
    so what is the difference of a tax paying owner, who has the same kind of building?

    Lynn is making mistakes turning downtown into the medical district.

    More bull... different day

  12. Point 1 - For the right reasons yes. That is emminent domain. A tool of Democracy. It's up to EDIC and the city to vet this appropriately but I think they will be able to show valid economic development reasons and the family gets fair value for their property.

    Point 2 - I think the Lynn Community Health Center, Willow, SPIN and other service agencies are a great fit for the area on Union Street that they inhabit. We see no issues from this and it's literally behind our back door. Great organizations. Great people. The folks from all three are very active in the community and always out at the Downtown Lynn restaurants. My Friday lunch pleas bring out employees from all of these buildings.

    Do I think we are out of balance, yes! That is what makes more economic development that will drive more commerce, dining, shopping in our center even more important. When you hold one of the more important parcels in that strategy, and you choose to do nothing with it, you are holding back an entire city. At that point, you need to take the city's offer and get out of the way. For the greater public good.

  13. Just cause union street is behind you, doesn't mean it is for the rest of the area.

  14. My comments on everything on Union were positive. The back door reference was to show how close it is to me, and it causes ZERO problems. It's a plus actually.

    Seth from just posted another reason Union street rocks. Check his story from today. There are some great restaurants up there as well Pho Minh Ky, La Fe to name a few.

    I think Union Street is a great area.


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