ABOUT TOWN: Downtown Eyesore to be Rebuilt (Plus Get Well Wishes for Two Stoughton Chiefs)
Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
FINALLY, DOWNTOWN BUILDING GETTING REBUILT: After years as a public eyesore, the former home of Cheng Du on Washington St. in downtown Stoughton, owned by the Parsons family of Malcolm and Parsons, will soon be rebuilt.
The building first suffered a fire a few years ago back in October of 2009, and then the roof collapsed under snow the following winter, in January of 2011.
The roof collapse also caused damage to the adjacent building and put a Stoughton restaurant, Kabob House, out of business. That building, which also houses Olivio's, has since been repaired and Chicken Kebab recently opened where the Kabob House once was.
But the old Cheng Du building, which suffered the brunt of the damage, was enclosed in fencing for a time, which disrupted downtown vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and then became a boarded up empty space.
Former owner David Parsons passed away October 28, 2011 at age 53, after a courageous battle with cancer. His sister and current property owner Amne Parsons, has submitted plans to the Stoughton Building Department for a $432,966 rebuild to the 76,700 square foot property.
Paul Oliveira of Avalon Building Systems in Stoughton is the General Contractor on the project. CGKV Architects put together the plans.
The building is a brick front, concrete side design, with three storefronts. There are to be no residences in the one story building. The engineer who signed off on the project in August of 2012 was Sean Fennell.
Stoughton’s Town Engineer, Ben Fehan, told About Town he has not seen the plans submitted to the building department. But he added, “It’s good to get something done in that space. It’s been a couple of years that it has sat there vacant and boarded up. Anything would be an improvement.”
I called Parsons for comment on the timetable of the plans, and her employee Jim Moran told me he would get her the message to call me. I also left messages and stopped by to see Oliveria, as well.
Like Fehan, I’m certainly eager to see the long-time eyesore get rebuilt into something that will do the downtown proud. As it now stands, it’s a horrid impression that thousands of out-of-towners are getting each day when they pass through the square!
GET WELL WISHES FOR SHASTANY & BATCHELDER: About Town sends Get Well Wishes to Stoughton Police Chief Paul Shastany, who is undergoing another back surgery on Thursday, Feb. 28.
He had one four months ago, and this time the surgeon (who is listed among the best in Boston Magazine), will be repairing a huge herniated disc, similar to last time. It is pushing the nerve aside, and causing the Chief great pain. He tells About Town he's relieved to be getting a discectomy. "I am very happy to get it done!"
Meanwhile, Stoughton's DPW Chief, John Batchelder had heart surgery and is recovering at home. He missed his first storms in decades. He is very much missed at the DPW. Best Wishes for a Speedy Recovery!