By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The Planning Board approved an application for a project to convert an old nursing home into 16 condominiums, but not after hearing from neighbors, a few real estate professionals and other business owners.
Monday night the developers of 142 Pleasant St. (on the corner of Woodside Avenue), the old Governors Nursing Home were in front of the Planning Board, with their attorney James Cipoletta, to present a plan of the work to be done. Last Saturday, the developers and Precinct 5 Councilor Russ Sanford held a neighborhood meeting to discuss the project.
For two hours Monday night, the Planning Board considered the application and the requested relief from parking and buffer zones for reuse of the property that has been abandoned for a few years.
The developers, Tay’s Realty, with principals Anthony DelVecchio and Michele Catalano, purchased the property from the Roberto family, who owned it last year and obtained the SDOD zoning designation. Neighbors expressed dismay at an SDOD being granted and having the property sold quickly to Tay Realty.
Planning Board member Vincent Zappulla said he was not happy with the quick turnover after receiving the SDOD designation.
“Before the ink was dry, it was sold and on their way. I don’t appreciate that at all,” Zappulla said.
DelVecchio said he purchased the property because the previous owner was seriously considering turning it into a methadone clinic.
The project calls for six, one-bedroom units around 800 square feet and 10, two-bedroom villa style units. the two-bedroom units are roughly 1,400 square feet and will sell for around $450,000 each. There are also currently 34 parking spaces. Each unit will also have its own entrance from the outdoors.
“We’re preparing to bring the next generation to Winthrop,” DelVecchio said Saturday. “I really feel like Winthrop is a gem.”
Catalano explained that under the SDOD they have the right to build 20 units. The previous owner had planned to build 12 units. DelVecchio said the demolition of the interior has already been done and resulted in 20,000 square feet.
Monday night several people submitted letters in favor of the project, including Sanford who said the property has been sold, put up for auction, resold and sat empty for several years.
“I believe this project will complement the Town. I believe the neighbors and the developer’s realize each others concerns and have compromised,” he said.
Residents immediate of the property expressed distress over the lack of green space, parking, ripping up the street for utilities, trash pickup and the buffer zone around the property.
“You had a dump, a distraught building,” DelVecchio said. “I’m upset by some of the comments. We’re not the old, we’re the new.
Longtime Woodside Road resident Dick Bangs said he wanted to minimize the impact on the neighborhood. Another woman lamented about the trees that used to be part of the neighborhood.
“Please keep the neighborhood in mind,” Bangs said. “We weren’t happy with the SDOD. Three two-family homes would have been great.”
The next step for the project is to begin the design review stage with the Planning Board.