City, EDIC Have High Hopes for Beacon Chevrolet Site: Developer Engaged in Four-month Due Diligence Period

February 24, 2014
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For decades the Beacon Chevrolet property on the Lynnway has stood vacant. As a prime piece of waterfront property, the site has stood as a windswept reminder of the city’s untapped potential.

That potential may soon be realized, if a new developer gets the assistance of state officials.

According to Lynn Economic Development and Industrial Corporation Executive Director James Cowdell, Beacon Chevrolet property owner Jack Granesse has put the property under agreement with developer Arthur Pappathanasi, to create a multi-level mixed residential and commercial development on the site, which would meet both the city and state’s visions for the Lynn harbor front.

“The development plan is for a mixed use development, primarily residential, with first floor commercial and retail space,” said Cowdell. “It’s what the city want to see there and when you look at DCR and the Commonwealth, the harbor has been a priority for the state for a long time, so it’s in everybody’s interest to have that parcel developed.”

Cowdell did caution that the developer, Pappathanasi, is still in a four-month due diligence period, so the sale and development aren’t finalized yet.

“He’s doing some environmental testing, but based on previous results, that should be good,” said Cowdell. “He’s also working with the city’s legislative delegation to help remove an easement through the middle of the property and there are some traffic considerations.”

The state easement is owned by DCR, but Cowdell noted that legislation was drafted back in 2002 to vacate that easement, but it was never acted upon. Additionally, the development plan relies on state approval to allow access from the southbound side of the Lynnway.

Provided the state clears the obstacles of the easement and the access to the site, the sale of the property to Pappathanasi would go through in a matter of months and the developer will be able to move forward with construction.

“We had the city zone the site for mixed use development,” said Cowdell. “At that end of the Lynnway, they can go up to seven stories, without any need for additional permits and so with some luck this project should be ready to go in a few months.”

With the city and EDIC also working on a long-awaited expansion project at North Shore Community College – directly across the street from the Beacon Chevrolet site – city residents could expect to see two huge development happening in that area before the end of the year.

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