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GA Blog: Lynn

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3.20.19 Local News: Lynn Unveils Third Waterfront Plan

The City of Lynn is developing two master plans to reimagine its waterfront with residential, commercial and industrial development, park space and public access. A third plan that will help implement and enforce the provisions of both was laid out for the first time on Tuesday night.

The third component of the planning process for the transformation of the city’s 305-acre waterfront site is an update of the Lynn Municipal Harbor Plan, which was approved by the state in 2010 and expires after a decade.

The plan, subject to state approval, was presented before a roomful of residents and elected officials at Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development.

A Municipal Harbor Plan states a municipality’s goals, standards and policies to guide public and private use of land and water within the jurisdiction of the Public Waterfront Act, or Chapter 91, which was created to regulate waterways.

The MHP amendment is meant to help coordinate local, state and federal regulations along the waterfront and ensure the implementation of the updated Lynn Waterfront Master Plan and the Lynn Waterfront Open Space Master Plan.

In addition to its pending expiration, an update of the Lynn Municipal Harbor Plan was necessary because the “ambitious plan” had some assumptions in it that hadn’t panned out, according to Matthew Littell, principal at Utile Inc., a Boston-based urban design and architecture firm which was selected to compile the Waterfront Master Plan by the Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn.

Read more about the Waterfront Plan at The Lynn Item.

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3.18.19 Meeting Notice: Public Meeting on Lynn Waterfront Master Plan Set for Tuesday, March 19th

The Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn (EDIC/Lynn) will hold a public meeting for the Lynn Municipal Harbor Plan and Waterfront Master Plan on Tuesday, March 19th from 6:00-7:30 P.M. at the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development, 10 Church Street in Downtown Lynn. For more information contact Mary Jane Smalley at msmalley@ediclynn.org or 781-581-9399.

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2.6.19 Housing Watch: Lynn Mayor Cites Housing Development as Priority During State of the City Address

Mayor Thomas M. McGee said in his state of the city address that although there has been substantial progress made in his first year in office, that should not lead to complacency.

The city’s 58th mayor said Tuesday night that the state of the city is strong, despite the ongoing financial crisis, highlighting new development, an investment in infrastructure, planning for better transportation and a vibrant arts and cultural scene.

McGee spoke before a roomful of elected officials, including members of the City Council, School Committee, and state legislature, city department heads and residents, in the City Council Chambers, where the annual address was delivered for the first time. Members of McGee’s family also attended, including his wife, Maria.

While highlighting the city’s commitment to economic development as one of its strengths, McGee mentioned the city’s recent approval from the state for four areas of Lynn to be designated as “opportunity zones,” a federal tax incentive for developers offered through the U.S. Department of the Treasury that encourages investment in low-income communities.

The first opportunity zone in Lynn would potentially be on Munroe Street, but McGee said he sees the entire city as an opportunity zone.

“We are open to finding development that will strengthen our city and create a future where people can live in housing they can afford, work in jobs that pay a living wage in 21st century industries, and raise their families in a community that is defined by its diversity, inclusiveness and opportunity for all,” McGee said.

Some of those developments have already transpired, McGee said, mentioning the ongoing construction of a 10-story, 259-unit luxury apartment building, with ground floor commercial space downtown on Munroe Street and the 71-unit mixed-income, mixed-use Gateway North project that was completed on Washington Street over the summer.

More on the Mayor's State of the City Address from The Lynn Item.

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2.6.19 Housing Watch: 36-Unit Apartment Building Under Development on Andrew Street in Downtown Lynn

Construction is underway on a $2.4 million mixed-use housing development on Andrew Street.

Zachary Andrews, a Swampscott developer, said he is constructing a five-story, 36-unit apartment building with ground-floor commercial space, which is expected to be completed in two years.

The developer is unsure whether the apartments would be market-rate or have an affordable component. Andrews said he was drawn to build in Lynn because he has other residential properties in the city.

He purchased the land at 38-44 Andrew St. from American By Products Inc. for $260,000 last February, according to land records. It was previously used by the local recycling company, American By Products, which relocated to Alley Street, according to a letter to the city from Sam Vitali, Andrews’ attorney.

Read more on this development from The Lynn Item.

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1.16.19 State News: State Senator Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn) Renews Push to Bring Blue Line to Lynn

State Senator Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn) knows the skepticism that surrounds any mention of extending the Blue Line from the Wonderland Station in Revere to Lynn. It’s been mentioned as a priority of elected officials and those seeking election for decades, with discussion dating back to the 1930s.

But on Thursday, Crighton will renew the push when he plans to file a bill in the state legislature that, if passed, would require the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to conduct a feasibility study on how to extend the Blue Line, or rapid transit, from Revere to Lynn. The study would have to be completed by March 2020.

“We understand the cynicism related to talking about the Blue Line,” Crighton said. “We feel that the time is now and the stars are starting to align. I think it’s important we focus on the need for better access to transit on the North Shore … This is something that could change lives and improve our transportation system for the entire state.”

The study will evaluate the costs and economics related to extending Blue Line service, which includes projected capital and operating costs, revenue estimates, projected ridership levels, where it would operate in downtown Lynn and what federal, state, local and private sector funding sources would be available, according to the legislation.

In 2013, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) Blue Line extension study estimated the cost for bringing service to Lynn from $737 million to $1 billion. Crighton said the feasibility study alone, which would determine an updated price, would likely cost more than $1 million.

Even if the study leads to approval of the project, experts say completion of a Blue Line extension into the city would be at least a decade-long endeavor, which would include a design phase, securing funding, and construction.

More on the proposed feasibility study from The Daily Item

Read Senator Crighton's Op-Ed on his proposal in The Lynn Item here

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1.16.19 State News: State Senator Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn) Pens Op-Ed on Blue Line Action Plan

State Senator Brendan Crighton's Op-Ed on Proposed Blue Line Action Plan from The Daily Item

CRIGHTON: IT’S TIME FOR A BLUE LINE ACTION PLAN

By Brendan Crighton
January 16, 2019

Anyone who glances at an MBTA transit map, let alone looks at the billions of dollars invested in transit expansion to the south and west of Boston in recent decades, can easily see that the North Shore has been neglected for far too long.

As early as the 1930s, plans existed to expand rapid transit to Lynn, but here we are now in 2019, and still we have no timeline for a Blue Line stop in Lynn. What we do have is our interminable belief that rapid transit would be transformative for our region.

Over the years, incremental progress to improve transit connections for the North Shore has occurred at the local, state and federal levels, but the fiscal realities and instability at the MBTA have meant that major projects such as the Blue Line extension languish in the idea phase and even the successful ferry pilot lacked state resources to be continued.

However, I have a renewed optimism in this new year because the MBTA recently designated Lynn as one of three “Priority Places” in its Focus40 Plan, along with the Seaport and Allston areas of Boston. This designation means that beginning in 2019 MassDOT will develop a comprehensive plan for the future of transit in Lynn. With this focus on the City of Lynn, I strongly believe our region has the best opportunity in decades to make a case for real progress toward bold transit investments like the Blue Line.

I know firsthand the frustration that exists locally and the understandable cynicism anytime the Blue Line Extension to Lynn is mentioned; but, I also understand that extending the Blue Line to Lynn would be truly transformative to the city and region — transformative in creating job opportunities, bringing in new businesses, restaurants and tourists, revitalizing our downtown and waterfront, connecting to jobs, to institutions of higher education, to medical care and to Logan airport, and generating much-needed revenue for our municipal budget to go toward new schools, better roads and public safety. It is up to us to make the Blue Line extension a regional priority and let MassDOT know that the time has come to invest in the North Shore.

The Lynn Transit Action Plan will consider the short and long term costs and benefits of projects such as a year round ferry from Lynn to Boston, improved bus service, better bike and pedestrian connections within the city, and yes, the viability of extending the Blue Line.

With the technological advances in rapid transit since the last Blue Line extension alternatives study over a decade ago, it is possible that we will find new options at a lower cost and with reduced environmental impacts. In every other industry, we see dramatic impacts of technological advances but in transit we lag behind the rest of the world, as the Commonwealth and our country must address years of underinvestment in our transportation infrastructure.

With MassDOT and the MBTA now giving Lynn the focused attention it deserves, it is time for us to renew our efforts locally and do all that we can throughout the development of the Lynn Transit Action Plan to make our voices heard.

Every resident, employer, senior citizen or student will have multiple opportunities to provide input to the plan. Let’s work together to show MassDOT that Lynn’s time has come. We must make our case for transportation equity. We must show up. We must ensure that the final plan truly reflects the needs of our region.

While the action plan is in development, we must also make sure that we are well-positioned to implement the recommendations upon its completion. Today, I filed a bill in the Legislature that would direct MassDOT and the MBTA to complete a new Blue Line Extension feasibility study by 2020, so that when the Lynn Transit Action Plan is final we have a clear understanding of the options for moving forward. I will continue working with MassDOT, Congressman Moulton, Mayor McGee and the Lynn delegation to make sure that our $4.5 million federal grant for a Lynn-owned ferry gets a boat on the water as soon as possible. We need bold solutions to our transportation problems and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature to explore all options to identify those solutions.

Standing at Red Rock Park, Boston appears so close to the city of Lynn; yet today, with limited transit options and constant traffic congestion, it is not easy to get there by land or by sea. Let’s renew our commitment to work together to bridge the distance and to make it resoundingly clear to MassDOT that the time has come for real investments in better transit for Lynn and the entire North Shore.

State Sen. Brendan Crighton represents Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus and Swampscott in the state Legislature.

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