Ellie Cook Walking the Beat: Daffodils and a new tenant at Smith College

Last modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2013

By Ellie Cook

The daffodil bank on the Smith College campus is about to burst into bloom. Scylla and miniature daffs are already flowering. In all its stages (there’s a magnolia tree in bud, too) it’s a spring delight — an outdoor bulb show. As they say, not to be missed.

New business on the block

At the corner of West and Green streets (long known as “the Corner”), Smith as a landlord has a new tenant: Smith Corner (“Convenience Plus,” reads the sign, along with an indication of what’s on offer: “coffee, cigarettes, lottery, groceries.”) The space was formerly occupied by Kumon, an after-school learning program.

Last week, proprietor Saadat Virk was inside the store getting ready for what he plans to be a Friday opening — “hopefully,” he said with a smile. Virk also has a store in Springfield. He thinks business will be good, he said, because he sees people walking by with CVS bags. If they come to Smith Corner, they won’t have to walk so far, he said.

Opal at work

The Gateway building on Village Hill Road is rapidly being sided. Completion is targeted for the end of June, according to Opal Real Estate Group principal Demetrios Panteleakis.Home care and hospice consultants Fazzi Associates will start moving in then.The firm does not yet have a tenant for its retail space, proposed as a possible café or restaurant, but plans to advertise more intensively when the building is finished and can be shown, Panteleakis said.Meanwhile, the company is focusing on its project on the former Clarke School campus. Federal tax credits from the National Park Service were approved last fall. With the state Historical Commission’s recent approval, closing on the property is expected soon. The approvals were based on Opal’s agreeing to maintain the appearance of the historic buildings and property.

Ellie Cook, a retired Gazette editor who wrote the monthly city column Walking the Beat, is a regular walker in the city. She continues her observations on GazetteNet.


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