It's been years in the wilderness for the former St. Casimir school at 333 Earp St., a building that's been sitting vacant for quite some time. We last checked in on this property about a year ago, when were telling you about plans to convert a former convent/rectory on Wharton Street into four apartments. That project went off without a hitch as far as we know, but the story about the former school is much more complicated.
In 2011, Cosimo Tricarico, owner of Caffe Valentino, came forward with a plan to build a two-story addition on the building and create twenty-five apartments with four parking spots. But the neighbors were not enthralled by the project to say the least, objecting to the height, the number of units, and the small number of parking spots. Over the three years that followed, the project was revised and finally approved with a one-story addition, nineteen units, and six parking spots. Last year, the project was listed for sale, with approvals, for $1.3M. It ended up selling at a more modest $800K in May, and now the new owners ave finally begun moving forward with construction.
Readers have told us at various times that the building was poorly maintained while it sat vacant, with literal broken windows bringing down the block. We won't claim to understand the dynamics of the block, nor do we know whether neighbors are pleased with this iteration of the project or still upset. Still, we can comfortably posit that the renovation of this building after a lenthy vacancy will be good for the block in the long term. Does anyone out there know if the folks on the block would agree with that assertion?