What’s Next for Downtown Lynn?

MAPC hosted “What’s next for Downtown Lynn?” an Open House and Public Forum at the Lynn Museum on May 23. The focus of the event was to tell residents about new efforts to revitalize the area, and to capture ideas on their vision for the future of Downtown Lynn.

The project’s mission? To craft a shared vision for the future of Downtown Lynn that includes diverse community perspectives, and to implement recommendations that supplement existing efforts to revitalize the area. The open house and public forum provided an opportunity for the public to provide input into the project, and to get engaged in the future of Downtown Lynn. The event and project have been coordinated by MAPC Senior Regional Planner Manisha Bewtra, pictured below interacting with the 50+ open house attendees.

Photo by James K. Lindley

The event saw diverse attendance from local business owners, nearby residents and community organizers. Attendees enjoyed food from Rincon Macorisano, a Dominican Restaurant and cupcakes from Cakes by NeeNee. Both are thriving businesses in Downtown Lynn. Attendees browsed through an interactive poster gallery facilitated by MAPC’s Data Services Team. Attendees browsed through geographic data, map collections of Lynn’s socioeconomic make-up, and visualized trends while learning new facts about Lynn.

Photo by James K. Lindley
The event featured local hip-hop and spoken word artist “Walnut — Da Lyrical Geni,” who opened up the forum and presentation. In Walnut’s lyrical rendition of Downtown Lynn, he reminded attendees of Lynn’s community backbone and love of family by inviting Lynn and residents from all walks of life to just ‘come a little closer.’
Photo by James K. Lindley
Through the use of electronic key pads, participants expressed and rated what amenities and developments they would like to see in Downtown Lynn. Attendees expressed a need to re-brand the city, boost visitation and build attractions. Attendees also expressed a desire for more waterfront industry and beautification of Lynn as a modern and urban city.  There was general consensus to see improvements in zoning, more development, and a desire for Downtown Lynn to become an art, cultural and dining destination.

“The people of Lynn have a great willingness to experiment. There are lots of interesting organizations working hard to create a more representative vision for what Lynn is all about.” ~ Jon Feinberg, Lynn resident of two years.

Jolene Kelly, owner of Cakes by NeeNee, said she’s already seeing renewal and changes in Lynn, having lived and worked in the city for just three years.

“One of the things I’m seeing is that people are coming here from the outside. New residents are creating a grassroots environment,” she said. “Lynn is the first place in 25 years where I’ve felt like I lived in a neighborhood.”

The project didn’t stop with the Open House! Read more about what MAPC will be doing in Lynn going forward at, or contact project leader Manisha Bewtra (

Photo by James K. Lindley


~ Author Tien Le is MAPC’s Summer Community Engagement Intern. She will be a senior at Brandeis University, where she is studying Economics and Politics.