Opinion

A great collaboration

Long the cornerstone of Lynn’s economy, GE is proving it can continue bringing good things to the city.

The corporation’s collaboration with Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development’s (LHAND) development arm, Neighborhood Development Associates (NDA), resulted in the sale of three GE lots for $520,000.

That acquisition took two years to complete with NDA and local elected officials involved in the negotiating. The end result will be a plan to build as many as 16 houses at a cost of $4 million on Minot, Richard and River streets.

The potential for a new mini-subdivision to be built in a corner of the city illustrates LHAND’s ability to change Lynn’s landscape for the better and create new housing opportunities for local residents.

LHAND, along with the nonprofit NDA, have built more than 300 units of housing for families. The $31 million Gateway Residences on Washington is nearing completion. The project, a collaboration of NDA, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, and Hub Holdings LLC of Boston, will offer 71 apartments in a five-story, wood-frame building.

In 2016, the authority completed construction of a dozen apartments on Sagamore Street, a rehabilitation project that provided a mix of market-rate and affordable housing.

The 16 homes planned near the River Works represent just the latest effort to revive a Lynn neighborhood or enhance an already-vibrant neighborhood.

Blighted homes on Herbert Street in the Highlands fell to the wrecking ball and housing planners  worked with City Council members and neighbors to create new housing and new homeownership opportunities.

Formerly rundown Warren and Shepard streets underwent a similar transformation when Brickyard Village rose out of the rubble of a formerly crime-ridden and neglected corner of West Lynn.

Similar successful initiatives are transforming lower Washington Street and transformed Franklin Street where the site of the former St. Jean-Baptiste Church and school is now housing.

These projects and the partnership between GE and NDA are proof that no corner of Lynn needs to be written off as neglected or beyond hope of renewal. The projects also underscore how enthusiastic people from many different backgrounds, including neighbors, elected officials, clergy, advocacy groups and businesses can band together to give neighborhoods fresh starts and provide residents with the bridge to homeownership and equity formation.

The former Federal Street plant site, now a Market Basket, and the former gear plant site off the Lynnway, now proposed for development, are proof that GE has long been a good neighbor to Lynn.

More Stories From Lynn