MarketStreet Cinema Vote Now Expected in Fall
National Development indicates that instead of seeking voter approval for its specialty cinema at Lynnfield's spring town meeting, it will now wait until the fall one.
A proposed warrant article for this spring’s town meeting seeking approval for a specialty cinema at MarketStreet Lynnfield has been moved back to the fall town meeting.
The project, currently under construction on Route 128 near the Lynnfield/Wakefield line, is expected to open its Phase 1 late in the summer.
In a letter announcing the change this week, Ted Tye, managing partner of National Development, wrote that “based on the short time period until town meeting and the need to continue to work on important details of our proposal, we have decided to delay filing a zoning amendment for the addition of a town center cinema at MarketStreet.”
If approved by town voters, the proposed 8-screen cinema would open in late 2014 or early 2015 with Phase 2 of MarketStreet Lynnfield. National Development and supporters of the cinema maintain that this is a good fiscal move for the town, one that would be smaller and more upscale than the average theater, and also a way to help ensure the long-term success of MarketStreet itself.
Opponents point out that a theater has already been rejected in the past for the site, and they also maintain that it will bring additional crime and traffic problems. Even the town's two current selectmen have taken different positions on the proposal.
“More than ever, we are confident that a properly scaled, town center cinema is right for MarketStreet and Lynnfield. Our vision for a town center cinema is a completely different concept than that discussed in 2007. In fact, it is less than half the size of the ‘megaplex’ that misinformed opponents consistently try to label it. As we finalize our proposal over the coming months, we look forward to productive discussions with the community and ask those who have concerns to keep an open mind as we move toward a town meeting decision by all Lynnfield voters,” wrote Tye.
Also on Thursday, a spokesman for National Development said that the firm has been in talks with a small number of cinema companies and that the process has taken longer than initially envisioned.
Upon selection of a cinema provider, National Development and representatives of that company would also reportedly have some public events to introduce them to the town.
"We will be continuing to speak with several potential operators to come up with the best fit for Lynnfield,” said Tye in a follow up email.