English - Economic Development and Industrial Corporation of Lynn


English - Economic Development and Industrial Corporation of Lynn
VOL. 1, NO. 1
Left, Julien LeBeau shows off food prepared at Rite Spice Caribbean. Center, Higher Ground Fitness Center
instructor Chrissy Freddo demonstrates an excercise to her class. Right, Lisa Fitzpatrick of Prime Products presents
catalogues of some of the companies she represents. Pages 2-3
City is in the zone
Rezoning supports
downtown, waterfront
development projects
Ask EDIC/Lynn Executive Director James
Cowdell why zoning is important to a city
such as Lynn and he does not hesitate to
“When you talk about zoning, you’re
talking about vision,” Cowdell said. “That’s
what zoning does. It sets a vision for a
specific area.”
Understanding that premise, the City has
made a concentrated effort, dating back to
2003, to adjust zoning regulations in order to
make it easier for businesses and residents to
come to Lynn.
“It’s about removing barriers that impede
development,” said State Rep. Brendan
The crux of rezoning efforts has been to
allow by-right zoning for mixed-use
development, with commercial on the first
floor and residential above. That led to 250
new residents living in the downtown, or
Central Business District, and, more recently,
popular restaurants such as Rossetti and
D’Amici’s opening.
Because the downtown rezoning was so
successful, a similar formula was used as part
of the Waterfront Master Plan, with that area
also approved for mixed-use development
and by-right zoning. Two key sites are under
agreement - a 60-acre parcel on the site of the
former General Electric gear plant and the
Beacon Chevrolet site, for which 263
residential units are planned.
As part of the new zoning regulations,
height restrictions were significantly relaxed,
from a three-story limit to a maximum of 20
stories in certain sections of the waterfront.
Other positive developments on the
waterfront include the opening of Kettle
Cuisine, a company which provides fresh
soups for more than 5,000 restaurants and
supermarkets nationwide. Relocating from
Chelsea, the company invested $20 million
and brought more than 100 new jobs to Lynn.
This summer, a commuter ferry from Lynn
to Boston opened to rave reviews. It will
return for the second year of a pilot program
See ZONING Page 2
2 — EDIC Communicator WINTER 2015
No shortage of positive developments
ot only is Lynn open for business, we are
ready and willing to provide the type of
assistance that can make the difference
for a new venture or existing business looking to
relocate, renovate or expand.
In this inaugural edition of the EDIC
Communicator, we are pleased to highlight several
businesses that have taken advantage of the
microloan program funded by the U.S. Small
Business Administration.
The companies profiled have received loans that
have been used for a variety of purposes: working
capital, equipment and inventory, relocation and/or
expansion, capital improvements and start-up costs.
City is in
the zone
ZONING: from Page 1
in 2015.
“There is now tangible progress with
regard to the waterfront,” Cowdell said. “We
have started to make the important transition
from concepts to results, and it is very
More than 75 loans have been written since the
inception of the microloan program. Companies that
are approved receive up to $50,000 at a fixed
interest rate of 4%. The program is a success, and
we are grateful to the SBA for providing the
funding to support it.
Elsewhere in this edition, you will read about the
city’s having embarked on a systematic approach to
amending zoning laws in order to create a more
business-friendly environment. Working
collaboratively, the City Council, Mayor’s office
and EDIC have succeeded in removing barriers that
hinder development.
When it comes to business and development,
The next step — approved by the City
Council in June — was to refine zoning
regulations in order to attract specific types
of commercial activity, including restaurants,
a fish market and a microbrewery. The City is
also actively promoting the Arts & Cultural
District and the opportunities for artists to
live and work, as well as the availability of
research & development office space.
“We’re tweaking the success we had in the
downtown,” Cowdell said. “It’s taking a
vision and synthesizing it. We want to go to a
developer and say there are no obstacles to
opening in downtown Lynn or on the
“It sends the message that we are open for
business,” Crighton said. “We want to
encourage a vibrant downtown centered
there is a very positive vibe in the City right now.
We were thrilled with the results of the first year of
the Lynn ferry pilot program and are already
looking forward to the re-launch this spring. There
are a few key pending deals on the waterfront that,
when executed, will trigger additional developments
on that corridor.
You can feel the momentum building. We are
committed to continuing and enhancing the progress
that has already been made, and we welcome you to
come along for the ride.
James Cowdell is executive director of
around restaurants, arts and entertainment.
People are being priced out of Boston. We
have the opportunity to market ourselves as
an affordable alternative. We’re a 30-minute
boat ride or a 20-minute train ride to
Businesses that locate in Lynn are eligible
to apply for loans through EDIC/Lynn,
including the microloan program funded by
the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“Zoning changes lead to new businesses and
those businesses can benefit greatly from the
SBA,” Cowdell said.
It is clear that Lynn has taken a thorough
and systematic approach to improving the
climate for both commercial and residential
development through rezoning.
“We took an approach of addressing
zoning in phases,” Crighton said. “We
wanted to focus on each area individually.”
EDIC/Lynn Board Chairman Charles Gaeta
said the best is yet to come.
“Rezoning has certainly triggered
development, but those successes will seem
minor in terms of what will happen in Lynn,”
he said. “Things are going to explode on the
waterfront. There are major projects that are
no longer in the distant future.”
Gaeta said it is important for the City to
keep looking forward. “With additional
housing and businesses in the downtown, we
will need more off-street parking to help the
businesses thrive and accommodate the
residents,” he said. “The pieces are in place.
We have to stay ahead of the progress.”
Prism Products has
all the right tools
Economic Development
Industrial Corp. of Lynn
Lynn City Hall, Room 307
3 City Hall Square
Lynn MA 01901
Tel. 781-581-9399
James Cowdell
Executive Director
Board of Directors
Charles Gaeta, Chairman
Tyrone Brown
Magnolia Contreras
Richard Ford
Paula Mackin
Lisa Panakio Rowe
Ted Smith
[email protected]
Lisa Fitzpatrick displays some of the products she supplies.
Since its founding in 2006, Prism
Products has become the largest
industrial lubricant distributor in New
England for fluids manufacturer
QualiChem, while also providing
tooling to the defense, aerospace,
medical and semiconductor technology
Owner Lisa Fitzpatrick started out as
a representative for one of the products
she now supplies before deciding to go
out on her own.
“It was time,” said Fitzpatrick, who
has more than 20 years of experience
in the tooling and lubricant industry,
combined with a degree in mechanical
engineering. “I wanted to be in control
of my own destiny. When you work
for yourself, you can really analyze all
aspects of the business and seek out
what you can be doing better – for the
company and for the customers.”
Prism Products provides customers
with state-of-the-art solutions to any
manufacturing problem that may arise,
helping companies to reduce their total
costs of production and enable them to
be more competitive and profitable.
The company promises to save the
average plant approximately $2,000 to
$10,000 per month based on its
advanced coolant technology.
Most of Fitzpatrick’s core accounts
are in the North Shore, but she also
handles a range of online orders from
customers across the U.S. Initially, she
was working out of her home in
Nahant for a year before securing
office space in Lynn, on the Lynnway.
“It works so much better for me,
especially with deliveries,” she said.
Last year, Fitzpatrick received a loan
from EDIC/Lynn to purchase extra
inventory, which in turn is helping to
bring in six times the revenue and
support daily operations. She was also
able to hire a seasoned sales
professional with 15 years experience.
“It’s hard for a small business to
operate with very little cash flow,” said
Fitzpatrick. “The loan ultimately made
it easier for me to hire more help and
give my employees more hours. It’s
been a tremendous help.”
For more information about the
company, visit www.prismproducts.com.
EDIC Communicator WINTER 2015 — 3
EDIC’s loan program provides husband-and-wife
restauranteurs with the recipe for success
Noyan’s son, Julien LeBeau, and her brother, Steven
Arnold, also work at the restaurant, which has truly
It took just the right mix of passion and opportunity become a family enterprise. They employ a number of
for husband-and-wife team Shawn and Noyan Edmond part-time employees during peak hours.
The Edmonds were able to make their first step in
to open a Caribbean restaurant in Lynn.
The couple opened Rite Spice Caribbean on Western launching their own business after learning about
EDIC/Lynn’s loan programs serving small businesses
Avenue in August 2013. Shawn, who grew up in
in the community. They had driven by the property,
Jamaica and was trained at Ritz-Carlton and Sandals
which had just become available for lease, and
resorts in Montego Bay, serves as chef. Noyan, who
grew up in the vibrant culinary world of New Orleans, immediately moved forward with a business plan.
“We’re so grateful to EDIC,” said Noyan. “We
says she has always loved “great, great food.”
“We both have a passion for wonderful home-cooked presented them with our concept—introducing the
community to something different in terms of ethnic
food and entertaining, and opening a restaurant had
food—and went over the logistics of the plan and they
been a long-time dream for us,” said Noyan.
helped us secure a loan for start-up. It was truly an
The restaurant features an eclectic mix of Jamaican
opportunity of a lifetime. We wouldn’t be in business
and other Caribbean food choices, with favorites such
today without their support.”
as jerk chicken, Jamaican patties (meat-filled handWith the loan, the Edmonds were able to purchase
pies), coco bread, curry crab and braised oxtail. It is
new kitchen equipment and make renovations to the
primarily a carry-out restaurant, but there is limited
space, which previously housed a sandwich and pizza
seating available.
“Rite Spice Caribbean is designed for take-out, but
“We were so fortunate to have found the space and
people like to linger and sit and talk and enjoy the
benefitted from this opportunity,” said Noyan.
food—kind of like they would in their own homes,”
The restaurant, located at 532 Western Ave., is open
said Noyan, adding that they also offer weekend
Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
specials and catering services.
for success
Shawn and Noyan Edmond of Rite Spice Caribbean stand proudly
in front of their restaurant on Western Avenue.
Fitness training business
doubles its space in Lynn
When Neil Liston wanted to take Higher Ground to the
next level – literally and figuratively – he turned to
EDIC/Lynn for assistance.
Liston, who has owned his sports and fitness training
business for three years, was looking to more than double
his space on the corner of Eastern Avenue and Columbia
Street by moving from the first floor to the second. That
move required capital for new equipment and physical
improvements to the space, for which Liston received a
microloan through EDIC/Lynn and the U.S. Small
Business Administration.
“The loan was very helpful,” said Liston. “Everybody
loves the new space.”
In addition to the usual cardio machines and weights,
Liston’s 5,000-square-foot gym includes a boxing ring,
heavy bags and TRX equipment. There are several fitness
classes, including cardio kickboxing, TRX and boot
Liston does a lot of work with athletes and sports teams,
especially hockey players. A San Francisco native, he grew
up in Nahant – returning to California in the summers –
and played in Lynn Youth Hockey and at Swampscott
High, graduating in 1990. Liston played junior hockey
and eventually went to San Jose State, where he played on
the club team from 1995-97.
Neil Liston coaches Francesca Caponigro in kick boxing.
After a shoulder injury ended his hockey career in 1997,
Liston started conducting hockey clinics and working with
players on off-ice training. He continued to train hockey
players periodically for the next 13 years until opening his
own gym.
“I figured it was time to open my own club so I could
focus on what I wanted to,” said Liston, who moved back
to Massachusetts in 2003.
There are two levels of memberships at Higher Ground
– a basic and one that includes unlimited group fitness
classes. Liston and his staff of seven also work with
athletes from elementary school to professional, in both
Neil Liston supervises as Steven Santanello works to
improve agility on the tires.
group and individual sessions.
In addition to providing physical training for hockey
players, Liston brings them to showcases to give them
greater exposure to college coaches and professional
scouts. He does the same with boxers, and is affiliated with
USA Boxing.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with athletes,” said
Liston, who owns a junior hockey team and recruits
European players for junior teams in Canada. “We have
kids coming in the morning and at night. Our goal is to
help them become stronger, faster and more confident.”
From trash to treasure:
4 — EDIC Communicator WINTER 2015
Couture Planet transforms
newspapers into chic accessories
Fashion innovators Constance Carman, Kathleen Cormier
and Michelle Kane have built a successful business on a simple
concept: turning one person’s trash into another’s treasure.
Their eco-friendly company, Couture Planet, manufactures
sustainable handbags and accessories from recycled
newspapers. The idea for the venture began in 2009 when
Carman, manager and buyer for the store at the Fairmont
Copley Plaza Hotel, noticed hotel guests throwing out their
newspapers and knew there had to be a better use. Calling on
her background as a graduate of the Fashion Institute of
Technology, she started viewing newspapers as fabric and sold
her first set of one-of-a-kind handbags at the hotel.
“Newspapers are iconic, historic and beautiful,” said Carman,
who serves as Couture Planet’s founding partner, but also still
works full-time at the Fairmont Copley. “We’re trying to create
a green, unique, American-made product that means something
to its owner.”
Cormier and Kane joined the business early on and were
added as partners when the company was reworked in 2013.
They operate out of the Lydia Pinkham building on Western
Avenue—drawing inspiration from Pinkham, the city’s first
female entrepreneur, as well as the numerous other small
businesses and artists housed there.
“There’s such a great vibe being surrounded by
photographers and glass blowers and other types of artists,” said
Cormier. “We love that as our business has grown we’ve been
allowed to expand our space within the building without
actually having to move, and EDIC has been a huge resource
for us.”
The company has received assistance from EDIC/Lynn in a
number of ways, from being granted a low-interest loan to
participating in the city’s summer jobs program. The loan
enabled them to bring their sewing in-house, which was a huge
opportunity and integral to their commitment to maintain local
manufacturing operations. This past summer, Cormier and Kane
had two teens working for them—Jalene Orsatelliz, a senior at
Lynn English High School, and Julia Perez, a senior at Lynn
Classical High School. The summer jobs program places the
students in public- and private-sector jobs to gain real-world
experience. Private businesses, like Couture Planet, are
responsible for paying half of their salaries, while the other half
comes from city and state funding. This was the fourth summer
Couture Planet has participated.
“It’s a wonderful program and hopefully we’re able to teach
them something about operating a small business,” said
Cormier, who lives in Swampscott, and Kane, who lives in
Marblehead, both strive to be as involved as possible in the
Lynn community, putting on fashion shows at Lynn English and
working with youth at Raw Art Works. Kane also serves on the
board of directors at the Lynn Museum.
“We really love Lynn, its resources and the revitalization
amongst the arts community,” said Cormier.
Their fashion-forward handbags bear headlines from the
worlds of the arts, food, fashion, travel and sports and are
available in five styles. They have captured some of the most
important moments in national and local history—from the
presidential inauguration to last year’s World Series victory for
the Red Sox. Products are available online through their Etsy
shop or by calling their office to speak with a representative.
They are also sold at nearly 50 retail locations across the
country. For more information, visit www.mycoutureplanet.com.
oportunidad e integral al compromiso de mantener sus
operaciones local. EEl verano pasado Cormier y Kane
tenían dos estudiantes trabajando con ellos, Jalene
Orsatelliz, estudiante de último año en Lynn English
High y Julia Pérez, estudiante de último año en Lynn
Classical High.
El programa de trabajo de verano coloca a estudiantes
en trabajos en el sector público o privado para que ellos
obtengan experiencia. Negocios privados como Couture
Planet le paga la mitad del salario a los jóvenes y el
resto es pagado por la ciudad y fondos federales. Este es
el cuarto verano que Couture Planet ha participado.
“Es un programa maravilloso y nuestra meta es de
poder enseñarles cómo manejar un negocio pequeño”,
dijo Cormier.
Ambas Cormier, quien vive en Swampscott y Kane, residente
de Marblehead, se esfuerzan de estar envuelta en lo más que
pueden en la comunidad, patrocinando desfiles de modas en Lynn
English High y trabajando con jóvenes en Raw Art Works. Kane
también es miembro de la junta de directores del Museo de Lynn.
“Verdaderamente amamos a Lynn, sus recursos y la
revitalización en la comunidad de arte”, dijo Cormier.
Sus bolsas de modas avanzadas se distinguen por los titulares
del mundo de las artes, gastronomía, modas, viajes y deportes y
vienen en cinco estilos. Ellas han capturado momentos históricos
importantes nacional y local desde la inaugurarón presidencial
hasta la victoria de las Medias Rojas en la Serie Mundial.
Las carteras se pueden encontrar a través de su tienda Etsy en
el Internet o llamando a la oficina y hablando con un
representante. Las bolsas también están en venta en casi 50
tiendas a través del país. Para más información, visite la página
de Web: www.mycoutureplanet.com.
Couture Planet transforma
periódicos en accesorios elegantes
Las innovadoras de moda Constance Carman, Kathleen
Cormier y Michelle Kane han creado un negocio de éxito con un
simple concepto: tomando la basura que arroja una persona y
convirtiéndola en un tesoro para otra. Su compañía ecológica
Couture Planet fabrica carteras y accesorios verdes hechos de
periódicos reciclables. La idea comenzó en el año 2009 cuando
Carman, gerente y compradora de la tienda localizada en el Hotel
Fairmont Copley Plaza notó que los huéspedes del hotel dejaban
sus periódicos botados y ella sabía que estos tenían un uso útil.
Preparada del Estudio Tecnológico de Modas, ella comenzó a
ver los diarios como tela y vendió su primera cartera en el hotel.
“Los periódicos son icónicos, históricos y bellos”, dijo Carman,
quien es fundadora de Couture Planet y aún trabaja medio tiempo
en el hotel.
“Estamos tratando de crear un producto hecho en los Estados
Unidos con significado para el dueño”.
Cormier y Kane se aliaron al negocio desde el principio y
luego se hicieron socias cuando la compañía se reorganizó en el
año 2013.
Ellas estaban localizadas en el edificio Pinkham en la Western
Avenue y encontraron inspiración en Pinkham quien fue la
primera mujer empresaria en la ciudad; al igual que otros
negocios pequeños y artistas en el edificio.
“Hay un gran dinamismo cuando estás alrededor de fotógrafos,
sopladores de vidrios y otros artistas”, dijo Cormier. “Nos da un
gran placer de que nuestro negocio ha crecido, nos hayan dado la
oportunidad de expandir nuestro espacio en el mismo edificio sin
tener que mudarnos, y el EDIC ha sido un gran recurso para
nosotras poder lograr todo esto”.
La compañía ha recibido asistencia del EDIC/Lynn de varias
formas, desde un préstamo con bajo interés hasta la participación
del programa de verano de la ciudad. El préstamo les permitió
tener la costura en el establecimiento el cual es una inmensa
Top, Julia Perez and Jaelene Orsatelliz of Lynn interned at Couture Planet over the summer.
At right, Michelle Kane, Kathy Cormier, Jaelene Orsatelliz, Julia Perez and Thuy Quinones operate
the business out of the Lydia Pinkham building.
Arriba, Julia Perez y Jaelene Orsatelliz de Lynn internados en Couture Planet durante el verano.
A la derecha, Michelle Kane, Kathy Cormier, Jaelene Orsatelliz, Julia Pérez y Thuy Quiñones
operan el negocio del edificio de Lydia Pinkham.
EDIC Communicator WINTER 2015 — 5

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