‘It ain’t for sale!’: Lynn florist, neighbors oppose property takings through eminent domain

LYNN, Mass — A well-known florist in Lynn says he will do whatever it takes to prevent his property from being infiltrated for an upcoming construction project.

Boston 25 News has learned that the $5.4 million proposed MassDOT project could also impact at least 20 homeowners on a busy stretch of Broadway Street.

Salvy Migliaccio, owner of Salvy the Florist & Steve’s Greenhouses, said the neighborhood was left blindsided by recent letters from the city of Lynn.

According to Migliaccio, it delivered stunning news that could have a major impact on his Broadway Street location where he lives and works.

The City of Lynn informed him and others on the street that their properties are needed for temporary and, in some cases, permanent use.

The letters said the takings would be done through “eminent domain”.

“When you’re taking about the government taking over your property by eminent domain, I don’t care if it’s a sliver. You’re not getting it,” said Migliaccio. “It will probably close my business.”

A statement from Lynn’s Department of Public Works said the state-funded project would provide much needed upgrades for better traffic flow, enhanced pedestrian safety and increased handicapped accessibility.

It would span a nearly half mile stretch of Broadway Street from Jenness Street to Wyoma Square.

“The state first targeted this area for improvements five years ago and the plans are now coming to fruition,” said the statement from Lynn DPW Commissioner Andrew Hall. “It is critical that the City does what is necessary to ensure that this funding is utilized.”

Migliaccio strung caution tape across the front of his home and business to show the areas that would be accessed during the project.

It would permanently take a triangular corner of his property where several deceased pets are currently buried.

“It is personal for me because it’s my house, it’s my business and it’s my life. I’m sorry, I’m fighting for it,” he said.

A Lynn spokesperson told Boston 25 News that “the property owners who will be impacted by these temporary takings will be compensated by the City.”

“It ain’t for sale! You’re not taking it,” said Migliaccio. “If you came here beforehand and made an offer, the answer would be no!”

Migliaccio said he worries that the project would cause him to lose parking spots out front of his business.

A city spokesperson pointed out that those some of those spots are technically supposed to be a bus stop.

However, Migliaccio said that the bus stop is rarely used.

He believes project may leave him with no choice but move the 12 ton granite fountain out front of his business to turn the space into a parking lot.

“It’s more than just a fountain. People have a lot of great memories of this fountain over the course of 40 years,” said At-Large Lynn City Councilor Brian LaPierre.

LaPierre is strongly opposed to the project as it’s currently proposed.

The state design would require a vote from Lynn’s 11 city councilors.

“If it came down to a vote under the current state of the proposal, I would be a no vote,” he said. “It should not infringe upon people’s individual properties.”

Neighbors who would be impacted told Boston 25 News they wish they were contacted directly by the city to have a conversation about the matter.

“What they sent us is telling us they’re taking 12 feet of my driveway and six feet in front of my house,” said Broadway Street homeowner Dale Bragan. “I don’t know where we go from here.”

A statement from the City of Lynn added “we are working to address those concerns as part of the planning process for this important project.”

“I’m afraid when they say temporary…things might change, and it will be a permanent taking,” said Broadway Street homeowner Kathy Bourgeois. “People need more information.”

Wednesday night update from City of Lynn:

A City spokesperson told Boston 25 News that the City got the MBTA to agree to consolidate the bus stop at the corner of Jenness and Broadway with a stop further up Broadway (heading north).

According to the City, the pending change to the proposal occurred on Wednesday.

The City said this would create about a half-dozen legal parking spaces on Broadway in front of the Salvy the Florist/Steve’s Greenhouses location.

Migliaccio told Boston 25 News that the fate of the fountain remains in question.

He’s planning a neighborhood meeting out front of his business on Tuesday night to address a list of unresolved concerns.

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