Cowdell says wire relocation could begin May1

James Cowdell, the city’s development man extraordinaire, said that a historic moment is set to strike for the city.

“The crux of the matter – the power lines on the Lynnway development property – are about to be moved. We’re on the cusp of relocating those power lines,” he said.

Cowdell, Executive Director of the Lynn Economic Development and Industrial Corporation, is the lead agency for the project.

The power lines crisscrossing the Lynnway and running over prime property from the ocean border by the General Edwards Bridge near to the area where the casino boat used to dock, could well be the next generation of development for the city on a scale it has never before witnessed in its modern history.

Underutilized prime oceanfront property is what this development is all about.

“The relocation of the power lines is the key to everything happening. The Flanagan-Kennedy administration has given this project close scrutiny and attention, as did the previous administration which worked about 7 years to get to this point,” Cowdell added.

A waterfront master plan has been adopted by the City Council.

The main effort underway is to someday link up the downtown with an abundance of savvy development along the waterfront.

Such development might include thousands of units of high-rise housing, added commercial space and ocean front walkways and venues to bring the public to a place that has long been off-limits.

“We have the opportunity to open up fabulous waterfront space to the people of this city. Lynn’s oceanfront is the city’s last great-unused resource. We aim to make the best development possible. This is an opportunity not to be squandered,” Cowdell added.

At first, the city had hoped to bury the overhead power lines.

“We don’t have the money to do that,” Cowdell recently told the council.

Burying the high-tension wires could cost as much as $30 million, according to energy company officials.

So moving the wires away from developable portions of the waterfront property is what the city is set to do.

To do so, Cowdell pointed out, easements will be granted instead of properties taken by eminent domain.

About $4 million in funding is being used by the city to do the initial easement process and relocation.

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