Time is Ticking for Silsbee Street Project

It’s been two years and the dilapidated building at 50 Silsbee St. in Lynn looks the same as it did when the Lynn City Council voted in favor of the project to rehab the space into a mixed use development back in June 2016.

Despite obvious frustration from Lynn City Councilors over the lack of progress on the project, the Council recently voted to grant a one year extension for the project after the permits granted in 2016 expired. However, there is a proviso included in the extension that prohibits the Marblehead-based developers from selling the property with the permits included. In other words if Yuriy Blyakhman and Alex Zelfond decide to sell the building they can not sell it or market the building as a ‘permitted project’. Any new owner would have to come back before the City Council for a special permit.

Ward 1 City Councilor Wayne Lozzi expressed his frustration at the meeting cautioning that while the Council will grant this extension it will not be in the business of granting ‘extension after extension’. Lozzi said while he expected the project to be done by now, a one-year extension would give the developers ‘reasonable’ time to get financing in order.

Council President Darren Cur explained that Blyakhman and Zelfond tried to secure funding for the project through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but that funding fell through so they will finance the project.

Ward 4 City Councilor Richard Colucci, whose district the project is being proposed, was all for giving the developers a break and said he supports the project. But like Lozzi, Colucci said this would be ‘one more shot’ for the development team to get it right.

According to Blyakhman, the $20 million project includes tearing down the vacant building on Silsbee Street and replacing it with a six-story, 115 unit, mixed-use development. The project includes approximately 21,502 square feet of first-floor commercial/retail use with on-site parking for 40 vehicles. The first floor commercial/retail space will most likely include a Russian and Eastern European-style grocery store selling international foods.

“Unfortunately, the process of completing construction documentation, arranging construction/permanent financing, and undertaking the requisite pre-construction due diligence process, it has taken us longer than had been anticipated,” said Blyakhman.

Blyakhman assured the Council that the project remains unchanged from that which was originally approved by the City Council in June 2016.

With the extension granted Blyakhman said, “We now anticipate commencing  construction at the end of the first quarter of 2019 with occupancy anticipated for the summer of 2020.”

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