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MarketStreet has an impact

MarketStreet has an impact

By Derek Owen

Lynnfield – Everyone is rushing to see what the buzz on MarketStreet is about. Such a large addition to a relatively small town of just under 12,000 people is sure to change the town of Lynnfield. The new stores in the mall including a Whole Foods Market, a Legal Seafoods’ Legal C Bar, and Kings (a bowling and dining establishment) will support a growing economy both for the short and long term for Lynnfield. The short-term construction and maintenance jobs along with the permanent jobs will slightly reduce unemployment rates in Lynnfield and neighboring towns. Even though the mall replaced a cherished piece of land, the new activities available at MarketStreet will make for a positive change.

Besides attracting more people to the town and adding a great deal of entertainment, MarketStreet will increase tax revenue and property values. The project resulted in about 1,000 temporary construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs as all the stores are opening. In addition, MarketStreet is expected to generate as high as $3 million in added tax revenue each year for Lynnfield in the form of meals tax and property taxes. The tax revenue will be utilized to fund education and other public services. From September 2012 to September 2013, the Zillow home value index increased by 12.7% to a new high of $521,000. Nearing the end of MarketStreet’s construction, in the months of June 2013 to September of 2013, Lynnfield’s home value index had the largest rate of increase ($497,000 to 521,000). With the holidays approaching, MarketStreet is sure to see a boom in business because of the unique and convenient stores accessible by citizens of Lynnfield and surrounding towns.   

With the new attraction on Walnut Street, there is a noticeable increase in traffic congestion. In order to make the entering of the mall safe, three sets of traffic lights were set up, which slows down traffic. Home owners of houses surrounding MarketStreet may find this frustrating as they must now be slowed down after leaving their homes, and also face the potential disturbances that come along with being next to a mall. Though there is now a lessened desire to live in the houses near the mall along with their decrease in property value, the home value index of Lynnfield as a whole is still increasing.

As a result of the many new restaurants and stores opening in MarketStreet, local businesses are going to suffer. The popular Lynnfield family restaurant, The 99, is going to inevitably lose some business because of the growing interest of the restaurants in MarketStreet. Small stores in the center of town, along with outlets in nearby towns will also face a decrease in consumer demand.

The overall effects of MarketStreet are promising for the economy of Lynnfield. The tax revenue will aid in the development of the public education system and other public works. Though there is no avoiding the traffic congestion on Walnut Street because of the three new sets of traffic lights, the attraction and tourism will increase Lynnfield’s prosperity. The many underlying benefits of MarketStreet greatly outweigh the few negative aspects.

 

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John December 05, 2013 at 08:40 AM
Respectfully disagree on some of your points. For the most part, the restaurants at MarketStreet (Davios, Yard House, Legal C Bar, etc.) are more expensive than the 99. Whereas a family may head to the 99 on a relatively frequent basis, the restaurants at MS are more for "special occasions" or just the parents having a night out, either alone or with other couples. And, King's is strictly over-21 starting at 6 p.m. I think there's room in this market for all of them to do well given they are targeting somewhat different demographics. Also, if I need something in a hurry, I'll definitely continue to patronize the stores in the Center or Post Office Square versus wandering around Whole Foods in an aimless daze.
Wallace McKenzie December 05, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Derek, Interesting letter. A couple of points 1. MarketStreet is currently only 55% built out, and even the current 55% is not fully occupied. The remaining 45% still remains to be constructed. So any complete analysis of traffic, economic impact, social impact is still 18-36 months away before any conclusions can be made. You are correct that traffic will increase. Chief of Police Dave Breen has said traffic will be onerous and overwhelming at times.” (http://www.town.lynnfield.ma.us/Pages/LynnfieldMA_BOSMin/01B9F4BF-000F8513) 2. The comment regarding Zillow’s home value index was not clear. The time period you mentioned was just before the very first stores opened, so I am not sure if you are indicating that the index would have been greater if there was no construction or if the construction drove the index up. While the zillow index is an interesting tool, the actual values of assesses vs selling will determine the impact that MarketStreet has on the entire town. Not sure where or if you live in town, but interesting comments nonetheless. I believe your conclusion of “greatly” in your last statement (“The many underlying benefits of MarketStreet greatly outweigh the few negative aspects”) is premature.

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