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Lynn’s Vault is locking up tenants

(Courtesy photo)

LYNN — It didn’t take long to lease the luxury apartments at one of the most iconic buildings in the city.

The developer of The Vault, a 47-unit apartment building at Central Avenue and Willow Street, better known as the Flatiron Building, said he’s leased nearly 90 percent of the eight-story brick building. On Friday, there were just six units left on the MLS Property Information Network, the Shrewsbury-based listing service.

Joseph Donovan, vice president of the MG2 Group, the Quincy company which bought the 103-year-old property in 2014 for $2 million, said he’s not surprised.

“We were always projecting to be fully occupied by the first of September,” he said. “We were confident that the relative value of those units would do very well in the downtown location.”

Marketing began a few months ago with ads for a mix of studios, and one- and two-bedrooms priced from $1,300 to $2,200.

“People are looking at the relative value,” Donovan said. “If you go one commuter stop closer to Boston the rents are that much higher.”

Four miles away on Ocean Avenue in Revere, one-bedroom apartments at one of the city’s newest buildings near the beach start at $2,115.  

Beth Connor Doran, an agent at Connor Real Estate in Lynn, said skyrocketing rents in cities closer to Boston including Everett, Somerville and Revere are driving tenants to Lynn.

As a result, she said, rents in the city are on the rise.

“The average one-bedroom unit in Lynn was $1,000 and now it’s $1,200 while two-bedrooms went from $1,400 to $1,600,” she said.  

The former bank building underwent a $12 million facelift last year. The apartments feature steel appliances, in-unit washer and dryer, individual HVAC controls, and some have ocean views. The first tenants, who are expected to move in Labor Day weekend, will have access to a fitness center and soon a coffee shop and a pizza bar will open on the first floor.

The Vault is the latest downtown residential project. Last year, the former Arnold Stationery building at 33 Central Square was transformed into eight condominiums for artists. The units sold in the $150,000 to $170,000 range.  

Opening of The Vault comes as the downtown is in the midst of a renaissance. While some residents complain the downtown closes after dark, the Blue Ox on Oxford Street is usually packed until closing time at 10:30 p.m. on weekends.

The recent Beyond Walls mural festival brought thousands of residents and visitors to the downtown to view more than a dozen exterior walls painted by 20 artists from all over the world.

The new tenants are a mix of Lynn residents who are trading up and the rest are from a wide geographic range, according to Yana Ben-Moshe, The Vault’s property manager.

“The tenants are from everywhere,” she said. “And soon they’ll be here.”

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