The last occupant of Pelton Mansion was the Poughkeepsie
Day Nursery, in operation for over a century until closing
a few years ago
POUGHKEEPSIE – Almost three years after the Poughkeepsie Common Council indicated a new direction for Wheaton Park and the old Pelton Mansion, that could include repurposing some of the property for housing, nothing has happened.
A vote is scheduled for next Monday on extending the contract to sell some of the site to developers planning what are described as 44 low-impact residential housing units.
During a special council meeting Monday night, real estate consultant Samuel Finnerman urged extending the project and moving ahead. Finnerman said it would present a positive image to other developers with worthy projects.
“I think this project, if approved and you extend the contract, will send a positive message that we want high quality good projects which are beneficial to all concerned,” Finnerman said.
Developers Wayne Nussbickel and Steve Tinkelman, doing business as Pelton Partners, said in the time that has elapsed and based on what they have heard from the residents living near Wheaton, many changes have been made to their plans, including ensuring preservation and repairs of the Pelton Mansion. The say there is a “strong, positive feeling” in the neighborhood, about the project.
One council member, Chris Petsas, whose First Ward includes Wheaton Park, is fully behind the partners.
“While some people will knock your project and knock what you’re trying to do down there, none of them have come up with a solution what are we going to do with the mansion, who’s going to come up with the money to restore the mansion or who’s going to come up with the money to cut the grass or to do the things that you want to do down there.”
During a lengthy presentation, representatives of the Wheaton Park Alliance presented a different point of view.
Naomi Brooks, also a First Ward resident, lamented the pending loss of open space.
“As we consider what to do with Wheaton Park and its Pelton Mansion and reflect on the current and future needs of our city, the Wheaton Park Alliance hopes we can honor the legacy of that historic house while bringing its purpose into our current times and that we can preserve the city’s original intention to provide the entire community with outdoor space to enjoy,” Brooks said.
It was three years ago this month, that the previous common council voted 6-2 approving an “alienation” of Wheaton Park.