Having written a large research paper on Lynn, Massachusetts, I've come to know a great deal about the city - especially the Downtown area. One of the fascinating things about Downtown Lynn, beside the fact that it used to be *the* place in the North Shore to do shopping... and is now empty... is the fact that it sits right next to Lynn's waterfront. The waterfront, interestingly enough, is so ill-used as to be truly astounding. However, finally, there's been some progress on that front. Pun intended. Of course.
Every year, the Lynn Item creates a "Progress" issue, detailing all the important developments for the city of Lynn over the past year. Some years, the news isn't all that great - and you can tell they're really reaching. Some years, it's pretty exciting. I've read almost all of them since, well, probably when the Item started them - looking the clippings up in the Lynn Public Library for the purposes of said paper. One of the most promising years, when Downtown Lynn was going to get a big mall, was also one of the saddest: it was the year a huge swath of the Downtown area went into flames, becoming national news. The fire took weeks to die - literally. The hopes and dreams of a city sort of died, at least for a long time, with the old, empty shoe factories.
This year's Progress Issue is one of the good ones: for once, things really are looking up. The development in Lynn isn't dependent on a tech industry, like it was the year the bubble burst. It isn't dependent on anything, really, because it looks like it's full steam ahead.
And why shouldn't it be? Downtown Lynn is a twenty minute drive from Downtown Boston. Or, you could take the train... and it'd be 15 minutes. If they ever manage to extend the Blue Line, which will eventually happen (whether that's in my lifetime, though, is up for debate)... it'd be even better (though, decidedly not faster). There's lots of new housing going in the area, mainly 1 bedroom condos geared for the young, professional and artistic types, but it's fairly cheap and an interesting investment. Many of those condos offer beach views, or a quick watch to the beach, in historic Diamond District... think of it, you'd get to live in an old mansion, albeit a small portion of it.
If everything pans out, Lynn could be really on the right track again - a place it hasn't been since the 70s, if that. However, like I've said, there have been many good issues of the Item's Progress before - and sadly, Lynn hasn't progressed all that much. But the future is bright. Crime is down. A new school is up. New development is in - and the price is right. There are just too many good things going for that city, including a great location and intelligent, hard working base, for it to stay down. Maybe this will be the year the tipping point is reached and the City of Sin gets a few moments of heaven? Read the report and gauge for yourself.