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Turning the Page on Item Building

MassDevelopment Partners with Newburyport Bank to Finance Conversion of Lynn Newspaper Building into Housing, Retail

April 5, 2021


Matthew Mogavero, MassDevelopment, 857-248-0868 (cell)

Mitch Marcus, Newburyport Bank, 978-225-8968

Hashmat Rauf, ARC Realty Management LLC, 617-378-1917

Rendering of the redeveloped former Daily Item building at 38-54 Exchange Street in Lynn

Rendering of the redeveloped former Daily Item building at 38-54 Exchange Street in Lynn

LYNN, Mass. – MassDevelopment has partnered with Newburyport Bank to provide ARC Realty Management LLC, owner of the vacant former Daily Item building at 38-54 Exchange Street in Lynn, with $6,650,000 in loan financing to support conversion of the property into a mixed-use development featuring 31 market-rate rental housing units and retail space.

“Redeveloping and revitalizing prime urban spaces, like the former Daily Item building, is integral to our work spurring economic growth in Gateway Cities and other downtowns and town centers across the Commonwealth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased that this treasured piece of Lynn’s history will once again be a vital part of the downtown area.”   

“With this redevelopment project located in the heart of downtown Lynn and directly across from the Lynn MBTA commuter rail station, it will add housing, retail, and vibrancy to the city,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “MassDevelopment is pleased to deploy the various financing tools at our disposal, as well as partner with Newburyport Bank, to provide ARC Realty Management LLC with the resources it needs to bring the iconic former Daily Item building back to life.” 

In 2020, ARC identified air-quality issues following the removal of the building’s first-floor printing press. MassDevelopment provided ARC with a $130,000 Brownfields Redevelopment Fund loan to install a sub-slab depressurization system to eliminate indoor air-quality issues in order to continue the building conversion. The agency subsequently provided ARC with a $2.8 million construction-to-permanent loan, in coordination with a $2.8 million loan from Newburyport Bank, as well as a $920,000 construction bridge loan. The Lynn Economic Development and Industrial Corporation also provided a $150,000 loan for the project, which is expected to be complete by October 2021.

“The former Lynn Item building is a historical asset within our community that will now be transformed into a cornerstone of the Exchange Street corridor and serve as a gateway into Lynn’s revitalized downtown,” said Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “This mixed-use, transit-oriented development will be another important piece of the puzzle located adjacent to the commuter rail station and provide easy access to our walkable downtown. I want to thank MassDevelopment and Newburyport Bank for their support of this project to repurpose a building which has sat vacant for several years.”

“Newburyport Bank is excited to partner with MassDevelopment to participate in financing the redevelopment of the historic Daily Item building,” said Mitch Marcus, Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at Newburyport Bank. “The Daily Item is a North Shore institution and to be able to be part of the repurposing of their former headquarters in the heart of downtown Lynn is very gratifying. ARC Realty Management, LLC will provide 31 unique apartments and additional retail space as part of the ongoing revitalization of the downtown area. This project aligns perfectly with our mission of financing projects which continue to improve the communities in which we do business.”

The Daily Item building was formerly owned by the Daily Item newspaper, and featured a first-floor printing press and upper-floor newsroom and management offices. The building has been vacant since 2014, when the Daily Item relocated its offices to 110 Munroe Street in Lynn.

The building is located in an area previously served by MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI), a program designed to accelerate economic growth within focused districts in Gateway Cities. The program works with cross-sector partnerships to engage community members in actionable planning, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur further public and private investment. From 2015 to 2019 downtown Lynn was designated a TDI district, and during that time MassDevelopment helped position this key property for redevelopment.

ARC Realty Management LLC is a single-purpose real estate holding company based out of Lynn, Mass. BuildAR Group, Inc. is the general contractor for this project.

“It was a pleasure working with Mike Galligan of MassDevelopment, and Mitch Marcus of Newburyport Bank,” said ARC Realty Principal Hashmat Rauf. “It was a challenging project to structure, but with their expertise and guidance, we made this project a reality. We are excited to work with BuildAR Group, Lynn-based general contractors on this project to create 31 modern, well-designed rental apartments, and seven commercial units on the first floor. BuildAR Group has been very helpful from the start of the project providing a thorough pre-construction services and handling the design aspect of the project.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.