Lydia Leonard grew up on Webster Avenue, spent time socializing with friends at Merritt Park, and later owned a home on Eleanor Street for 27 years.
As a business partner in City Square Realty for 13 years, Leonard had more than an observational role in the city’s real estate resurgence, especially so in the waterfront area not far from her former offices in Chelsea Square. In her position, Leonard helped promote the city and all it had to offer its residents.
Leonard is in her third year as a real estate agent at Century 21 Mario in East Boston but she is still spreading the good word about her hometown and helping prospective homeowners and developers interested in being part of Chelsea’s continuing growth led by City Manager Jay Ash.
Leonard recently oversaw the sale of a sizable property at 81 Broadway that was once the home to a bowling establishment, the Chelsea V.F.W., and two well-known neighborhood spots, the Beacon Café, and Bohill’s Irish Pub. The current property, which includes 11 apartments, was sold to developer Jason Roback for $1.175 million, representing one of Leonard’s highest sales prices for a local property.
“Jason loved the building – he loved the character, the area, the views, the parking,” said Leonard. “This building has a lot of potential and Jason really has a lot of insight. He does a fantastic job. He’s transformed other buildings in Chelsea in a very positive way.”
Leonard took personal pride in making the sale of the well-know property happen. She noted that five movies have been filmed inside the building, the most recent being the Equalizer starring Denzel Washington.
“I was proud to sell this property and that Marvin [Rudenstin] gave me the opportunity to sell it,” said Leonard.
Leonard said the waterfront area in Chelsea “is already booming” and she expects that growth and the vibrancy in the neighborhood and in other parts of the city to continue. She feels the Wyndham Hotel, Residence Inn Marriott, the Market Basket, the future FBI headquarters, and other development projects have put Chelsea on the map as an advantageous place to live, work, and enjoy.
A graduate of Pope John XXIII High School, Leonard, 47, is blending her career in real estate with raising a child. She has a 12-year-old son, Andreas, and though she now lives in Revere, she will always consider Chelsea her home.
“I miss Chelsea – I’m a true Chelsean,” said Leonard, who has three sisters, Lisa, Lyn, and Lauri. “My mom (Annemarie) still lives on Webster Avenue.”