By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
The city of Lynn’s dreams for a bright and shiny new Market Basket supermarket in downtown Lynn got a major boost last week when the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development came to Lynn to award the city a $2 million MassWorks infrastructure grant to help the city with providing roadway, sidewalk and traffic signal improvements on Federal Street, Western Avenue and Boston Street to make the old General Electric ‘Factory of the Future’ site more accessible.
Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash visited Lynn last Friday to announce the $2 million grant award and to talk about the city’s future.
“The Baker-Polito administration is pleased to award Lynn $2 million,” said Ash, during the ceremony. “I see special things happening here.. . .I am so excited to have a small part in it.”
Joining Ash at the grant announcement were Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Senator Thomas McGee, Representative Lori Ehrlich, Representative Brendan Crighton, Representative Donald Wong and Market Basket CEO Arthur T. DeMoulas, and members of the Lynn Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC).
“We really enjoy serving the public,” said DeMoulas. “But it gives us equal and sometimes greater satisfaction to get involved with the community. It’s very, very rewarding to the whole organization to be able to pitch in and enhance these inner-city communities and to be a part of the community.”
The site has been slated for a Market Basket expansion for more than two years, after Swampscott developer Charles Patsios purchased the lot, following a City Council vote to change the zoning from light industrial to business.
“We have been looking at this site
as it is for the past 30 years, said Lynn EDIC Director James Cowdell. “In order to have any change, we needed help and I am happy to say that help has arrived.”
“We look at Lynn and see what we all believe is great potential, added Senator McGee.
The planned Market Basket store is expected to create 75 permanent full-time jobs in the community and a total of about 400 full and part-time jobs. Market basket has committed to a policy of giving employment preference to qualified residents of Lynn and surrounding communities.