Young families bring new life to downtown Lynn

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When Jose Palma moved his young family to downtown Lynn from Somerville 10 years ago, he was an outlier among local El Salvadoran immigrants, most of whom lived closer to Boston. But the rent was right: just $650 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, versus $1,100 at the time in Somerville.

“Ten years ago, when I moved, there was only one Salvadorian restaurant” in Lynn, said Palma, who now has children in second and sixth grade. “Now easily I can name for you five restaurants owned by Salvadorians. It’s a sign that the population is growing.”

The influx is creating opportunities as well as challenges for a city that’s long aspired to revive its downtown and is gaining traction in that direction.

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