Opening a Vault of Opportunity


Article from by Daily Item Staff

A developer invests $14 million downtown to turn a tired bank building into an apartment and mixed-use complex with expectations of filling it with new residents by Labor Day.

It’s hard to imagine better news for downtown and the city as a whole. A multi-million investment in the city’s center is a vote of confidence by a developer that is bound to be noticed and duplicated by other developers.

The Vault, as the former bank has been rechristened, has become the latest example of how downtown, building by building, can be revived and renewed.

The tenants moving into the market-rate apartments are people who are investing in the city’s future by choosing to live here. They will shop in Lynn, they will use the commuter rail, they will invite their friends over for dinner or a concert at Veterans Memorial Auditorium and show them Lynn’s true potential.

Some of The Vault’s tenants could become future Lynn homeowners. Some may even open a business here and hire residents. It is hard to understate the potential for a project like The Vault to catch the eye of real estate developers and investors seeking new opportunities.

The skilled transformation at Willow Street and Central Avenue into renovated homes for people living in the middle of the city is exciting. It’s exciting to think about tenants from around the Boston area and the nation moving to Lynn to live in new apartments and enjoy the coffee shop and pizza bar planned for The Vault. The Vault’s residents will eat at Rossetti, RF O’Sullivans and The Blue Ox and shop or buy coffee in other downtown businesses.

Real estate owners and developers in Lynn look at a project like The Vault and see a snowball effect, picking up momentum and piling up a mountain of opportunity in Lynn. Opportunity has already found a home downtown with residential developments in former office and retail buildings.

Most of those projects unfolded on a scale smaller than the 47-unit Vault project. Developers and investors in other communities will become of Lynn’s transformation. The Vault will catch their eye because it represents development and investment in downtown on a larger scale than previously undertaken.

The fact that Quincy-based MG2 Group invested in Lynn will intrigue other developers who will ask themselves and one another, “If they did it, maybe I should think about investing in Lynn.”

That sort of thinking drew developers to bring a resurgence to Somerville and to revive Salem. A project executed on a bold scale like The Vault is a message to developers to come to Lynn and invest in a vibrant downtown.

It takes years for downtowns to decline economically and it takes years to bring them back. The work can begin one building at a time with new residents moving downtown and new businesses following them into the district and attracting customers.

The Vault deserves to be celebrated and duplicated for the benefit of all of Lynn.