LYNN — Forty years vacant, not even a pandemic can slow down redevelopment of the north harbor site.
The $100 million waterfront development, dubbed Breakwater, will result in two buildings with 331 market rate apartments and commercial space.
“You drive by and you can see there’s a fair amount happening there,” said Eric Loth, managing director of Minco Corp. “We did not have much effect from COVID. We actually kept working.
“Luckily, we were at a point where the site was pretty open and a lot of the work was outdoors, so the timing of where we were at in the construction cycle was to our advantage as well.”
Loth said crews from Callahan Construction are framing the first building now, which will contain 231 units and is located on the Lynnway. He anticipates that the building will be substantially completed by November.
He said crews are a bit behind on the second 100-unit building, with substantial completion expected by next March or April. That building will be located farther back on the site.
The development team, Minco Corp., and The Dolben Company, expects their first certificate of occupancy to be issued in about a year. The aim is to have people living in the apartment complex, which overlooks Lynn Harbor, by next summer, Loth said.
“It is exciting to see $110 million being invested into this key waterfront parcel,” said James Cowdell, EDIC/Lynn executive director. “This is the first of several waterfront projects in the pipeline.”
As for other aspects of the project, Loth said construction of the seawall is nearly complete, but the plantings that will go into the voids of the wall will not be delivered until later this year.
A timeline has not been determined for when the publicly accessible harborwalk will be built. Work cannot commence on that walkway, which will extend along the waterfront, until site work on the two buildings has been completed, Loth said.
And Loth said the team has been working on converting a Central Square lot on Exchange Street into a park at a cost of $750,000, which will then be turned over to the state.
The park’s development, a key factor in allowing the overall project to happen, was part of a land swap agreement between the development team and the state.
The redevelopment of the 14-acre site across from North Shore Community College on the Carroll Parkway, dubbed north harbor, has been in the works since 2013 when Minco first put the land under agreement.
But the groundbreaking for the project did not occur until last December, with construction delayed by a number of factors, including state permitting, state easements, zoning issues, municipal harbor plan amendments, tax incentives, more than $1 million in infrastructure improvements, and the construction of a $2 million seawall.
“To see it moving smoothly is great,” said Loth. “Working through the city was a great experience … but it takes forever to get it through the state. It’s great to actually drive by and see the progress now.”