Every weekend is vacation for Vince Stassi.
On most Thursday afternoons, he leaves his home in Bourg, near Houma, and heads to Baton Rouge to spend three days at his condo at Perkins Rowe.
The condos are above the retail spaces at the popular shopping center at the corner of Bluebonnet Boulevard and Perkins Road.
“The one thing I like is the 24-hour security, and I like the convenience of everything being so close,” said Stassi, who sold his Houma car dealership and retired eight years ago. He has a son in Baton Rouge and other family members in Hammond.
Stassi, who is a widower, actually purchased two adjoining condos and had a door cut between them.
“I stripped them down to the Sheetrock,” he said. “The only thing I kept was the stone on the kitchen counter and a light over the sink.”
Stassi replaced all of the floors with travertine or heart of pine and completely renovated the bathrooms. He put in recessed lighting and installed painted shutters on the doors and windows.
The same interior designer who helped Stassi select items for his home in Bourg helped him configure the two condos to best suit his lifestyle, and assisted him in picking furniture and fabrics.
“I told her, ‘Do not give me a whole lot of things to look at,’” Stassi said. “I am not going to sit all day long looking at books. I told her to show me five things she liked and I would pick from that.”
The front door of the 2,000-square-foot combined apartment opens to a living room with a small modern kitchen on one side and a dining area.
To the left is a small bedroom, with a sleeper sofa that gets used when Stassi’s great-grandchildren come to visit. A doorway from the bedroom leads to a 72-foot balcony with a view to the large private pool and patio for Perkins Rowe residents. The balcony is large enough to hold plenty of seating, as well as a table and chairs.
A door from the small bedroom leads to the second condo, which Stassi uses as the master bedroom. He removed the second kitchen and converted the space to a walk-in closet. He has a built in desk and a washer and dryer, which he has never used.
“I hope it works,” he said with a smile.
One of Stassi’s favorite things to do while in Baton Rouge is to take advantage of the restaurants at Perkins Rowe and in the neighborhood. He goes out for every meal.
“I don’t cook,” he said. “I park my car when I get here and walk to all the restaurants. I want to take advantage of everything I can.”
Stassi’s large home in Bourg is on the market, and when he sells it, he plans to move permanently to Baton Rouge, taking some of his favorite pieces of furniture with him for the condo.
“Just to keep my pool up at my house is more expensive than the condo fees here,” he said. “And I have no yard.”