Land Court gives Developers the Go-head to Proceed with Winthrop Hospital Project

Staff Report

The Massachusetts Land Court has issued its decision in the case of the Winthrop Hospital condominium conversion project.

Last week, Judge Alexander H. Sands ruled in favor of Tina Bzrezinski, trustee of Winthrop Cove Realty Trust, and ordered the work under the terms of the special permit may move forward. Essentially the judge dismissed the appeal of the neighbors, holding that they had no standing to appeal the Winthrop Planning Board decision and that the project will not cause any harm recognized in the law.

The matter dates back to 2003 when the Planning Board had issued a special variance to Bzrezinski to allow the conversion of the former Winthrop Hospital building to residential condominiums. The neighbors appealed to the Land Court.

Attorney James Cipoletta, representing Winthrop Cove realty Trust, filed a motion for Summary Judgment requesting the court to decide that the matter need not go to trial since the neighbors lacked standing to attack the Planning Board decision and that the decision itself was sound.

Judge Sands agreed with Cipoletta and Winthrop Cove Realty Trust and threw out the appeal of the neighbors and found that the plans submitted to the Planning Board were appropriate and that the Planning Board acted in accordance with the zoning ordinance and that the neighbors did not have standing to challenge the Planning Board.

Winthrop Cove Realty Trust’s proposal calls for 74 residential units on the site that has 128 on-site parking spaces. The conversion to condominiums will be done within the current footprint of the structure.

“I’m obviously happy with the Land Court justice’s decision and after Tina does her market analysis, she will determine when it would be appropriate to move forward with the project,” said Cipoletta.

Cipoletta said that Winthrop Cove Realty Trust has been paying taxes on the building since 2002 while maintaining fire protection, heating the building to avoid pipe freeze-ups in the winter, and caring for the surroundings in preparation for being able to build.

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