Recreational marijuana could be coming to a storefront in the downtown.
Boston-based Bloom Market Retail Inc., has filed plans for a 2,700-square-foot pot shop on Market Street. The applicant, Julius Sokol, bought the building across from Brothers Deli in 2016 for $275,000. He plans to sell marijuana on the first floor and turn the upper floors of the vacant three-story building into live-work apartments.
“Our project not only cleans up a property that has been vacant for years, but it will bring the city lots of revenue,” said Sokol, the company president.
Sokol has recently renovated the exterior of the 178-year-old property with mahogany wood siding. In addition, the interior spaces will feature 700-square-foot apartments with exposed ductwork, big bathrooms, laundry in each unit, and 20-foot ceilings on the top floor. He expected to price them at $1,600 per month.
“The city is essentially getting a brand new building,” he said. “I understand the stigma behind recreational marijuana, but it will bring much needed funding downtown, that’s just the reality of it.
Like most Massachusetts cities and towns, Lynn voters supported legalizing recreational pot last year. As a result of that vote, state law allows as many as eight pot shops in the city. Given two medical marijuana facilities were approved for the Lynnway and Western Avenue, the City Council is expected to approve six more.
Mayor Thomas M. McGee and James M. Cowdell, executive director of the Economic Development & Industrial Corp, the city’s development bank, did not return calls seeking comment.
Ward 5 Councilor Dianna Chakoutis, whose district includes the site of the proposal recreational marijuana clinic, said Sokol’s lawyers gave her a heads-up that they intended to file an application with the city. But no decisions have been made, she said.
“There are several proponents who want to put these marijuana clinics in the downtown,” she said. “We will be looking for qualified applicants who have been through this before. I want to weigh all the options before deciding.”
The City Council will consider the proposal on Tuesday.