By Cary Shuman
The Planning Board approved by a 5-0 vote the long-awaited condominium project proposed by Pizzuti Development (Winthrop Cove Realty) for the three-story, 50-foot brick building formerly occupied by the Winthrop Hospital on Lincoln Street.
Tina Pizzuti Brzezenski, trustee of Winthrop Cove Realty Trust, the entity that purchased the Winthrop Hospital property in 2001, said she was excited to obtain the approval to redevelop the existing property where 74 market-rate, residential condominium units are slated to be built.
â€œWe are very excited to be able to move forward with this project,â€ said Brzezenski.
The condominium project will have 12 studio units and two lofts, along with units in the one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom categories. The majority will be one-bedroom units. There will be 128 on-site parking spaces, which includes 15 visitor spaces.
â€œWhere I see the gap in housing in Winthrop is first-time homebuyers â€“ kids who donâ€™t necessarily want to go back to live with their parents after they graduate from college and want to own a condominium â€“ and also I see a large gap for the empty nesters, people who want to sell their house but donâ€™t want to leave the community and want a nice, new clean place to live and donâ€™t want to have to worry about repairs and that kind of thing,â€ said Brzezenski.
Brzezenski is hoping to begin construction of the condominium project in 12-15 months.
â€œIt will then take 18-24 months to complete construction,â€ she said. â€œGenerally, we donâ€™t commence pre-sales until weâ€™re at least eight months into construction. Iâ€™d say in two years from now, weâ€™ll be on the market. Winthrop is a lovely community and a very under recognized community. I donâ€™t think many people know that itâ€™s there.â€
Upon full occupancy of the condominiums, the project is expected to generate approximately $250,000 in annual tax revenues for the town. â€œItâ€™s a fantastic opportunity for the community,â€ said Brzezenski.
Richard Dimes, chairman of the planning board and a former selectman in the town, said he was pleased with the agreement the board reached with the developer, allowing the condominium project to move forward.
â€œItâ€™s been a long time but we finally finalized it with what we think is a very good mutual agreement between the developer and the planning board, and the town will benefit by it,â€ said Dimes. â€œI think the number of units fall into the category that the neighborhood should accept. Weâ€™ve allowed the developer up to 24 months to start construction.â€
Dimes said the board fully addressed the landscaping and parking issues before approving the project. â€œI think the project will be a very good one for this town,â€ said Dimes.
Brzezenski said Pizzuti Development will pave the portion of Lincoln Street (320 square feet of frontage) that is within the projectâ€™s property line. The company will also completely redo the sidewalks on the property.
â€œWe have all been working diligently for the past two weeks to try to come to terms so we could achieve the success that we did [Monday night],â€ said Brzezenski. â€œWeâ€™re looking forward to continuing our long-term relationship with the town of Winthrop.â€