By Kate Anslinger
About 20 neighbors of 142 Pleasant Street, the site of the former Gov. Winthrop Nursing Home, came out last week to share their concerns and hear about the future plans of the property from the new owners, Anthony Del Vecchio and Michelle Catalano.
The property had recently been owned by the Roberto family and was approved for a Special Development Overlay District (SDOD) zoning designation in August so the old nursing home property could be developed. Afterwards they sold the property to Del Vecchio and Catalano who have been partners for several years and have a history of transforming unused properties and land into alluring condos that are appealing to buyers and current residents. The building is about 20,000 square feet and sits on a 31,000 square foot lot. While they can’t confirm how many condos the finished project will have, they did share that their target residents will be young professionals and retirees who are looking to downsize.
Their goal is to get buyers who have roots in Winthrop but they aren’t opposed to bringing in buyers from other communities who will contribute to the growth of the community.
Catalano and Del Vecchio are all about being transparent when it comes to keeping the neighbors updated on plans, which is why they were proactive in calling the neighborhood meeting held at the EB Newton Building.
“I treat it like it’s my neighborhood,” said Catalano, regarding the future condos. “I want the neighborhood and community to embrace them.”
The majority of concerns from neighbors revolved around the parking situation after the condos are developed.
“This is nothing to be nervous about,” said Del Vecchio, who confirmed that each condo would have designated parking spots in the attached lot. “We really don’t think parking will be an issue.”
The developers also shared their determination to clean up the property prior to the start of the project.
“We want to clean up the property even before we start building, within a week or two. We want to fence in the whole property and take care of the broken windows and smashed liquor bottles,” said Catalano.
All of the demolition will take place inside the building and extensive landscaping and tree removal will be done on the outside, in hopes of making the property aesthetically pleasing.
As far as noise, the exterior of the building will be kept intact, limiting the disturbances to neighbors.
“I will dedicate everything I have to this building,” said Del Vecchio, who has been in the construction industry for over thirty years. “We are here to please and we are going to try our best. We paid a lot for the building because we saw something there and we have a vision.”
Del Vecchio and Catalano will continue to be proactive and share their plans with the neighbors, holding regular meetings where everyone can voice concerns and stay up-to-date.
“I appreciate you coming in and taking on this project,” said neighbor Melissa Shea. “No one has ever talked with the neighbors like this before.”
Shea, who is a mother of two young girls is especially relieved that condos are going in place instead of a previously suggested methadone clinic.
“I’m very grateful that you are working hard to better our neighborhood,” she said.