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Asian nursing home gets go-ahead from Quincy Planning Board

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  April 20, 2012 01:43 PM

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Construction of a 56,000- to 57,000-square-foot nursing home catering mainly to elderly Asians can now begin, after receiving final Quincy Planning Board approval on Wednesday.

Officials at South Cove Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Inc. hope to begin construction by the later part of this year on the facility, to be built at 290 Washington St., with the goal of opening to the public in the first quarter of 2014.

The facility, which has no affiliations with Quincy’s South Cove Community Health facilities, currently has a space in Boston’s Chinatown, which has been serving elderly Asian citizens since 1985.

The expansion into Quincy was one that made sense, CEO Richard Wong said, since many residents’ families and employees of the facility live in the South Shore city.

“I think there is excitement about the home coming to Quincy because we have a number of employees and families that already live in Quincy,” Wong said. “Close to 25 percent of our work force as well as families and residents live in Quincy. The residents that are here would move to Quincy. And the employees - there’s no reason why they wouldn’t go there.”

Another factor was that after looking for space in Boston for quite some time, the Quincy space was readily available, Wong said.

The plan is for the facility to have approximately 141-beds.

Although the facility welcomes anyone, there is an Asian theme. Meals are mostly Chinese, activities are geared more toward Asian culture, and many of the faculty and staff are fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, or Toishanese, with some also speaking Vietnamese

The project ran into neighborhood concerns soon after it was announced in January, with abutters worried about parking space and drainage issues.

As a result, South Cove purchased a bottle- and can-redemption center next door, bringing the total site for proposed $25 million to $30 million project to 1 3/4 acres.

In addition, South Cove was required to inspect the nearby drainage pipe to quell flooding concerns.

Drainage issues are being resolved to the satisfaction of the city's outside peer reviewer Mitch Engineering, Nick Verenis, an economic development planner with the city of Quincy.

"We're happy with that part of it,'' Verenis said. “They have been through site plans, special permits, and peer review (with Mitch Engineering), and they worked their way through the list and prepared a good project.”

Although South Cove has expanded its parking capacity, Wong noted that some neighbors are still concerned.

“I think that the neighbors understand that we’re trying to accommodate their needs, but they do still express concern that there may not be enough parking. But I think we’ve addressed it as best as we can,” he said.

Regardless, the project will move ahead, not only beautifying what once was the Hassan Automotive Property on the location, but bringing additional construction jobs to the region.

“I’m always excited when we get close to beginning a new facility,” Wong said. “I believe it will be helpful for the home and hopefully for Quincy and the neighbors as well.”

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