Press "Enter" to skip to content

Easton’s newest apartment complex opens in former elementary school

The long-vacant Cottingham Elementary School in Easton’s West Ward is now a 14-unit apartment complex.The apartments, unveiled by Allentown developer Manny Makhoul on Thursday, range from 350 to 850 square feet and rents are $900 to $1,100 per month, Makhoul said. There’s also a coin-operated laundry on site and a 30-spot parking lot in the back.The building has one one-bedroom unit and the rest are studio apartments.The 811 Northampton St. property required a lot of work.The roof leaked and the ceiling was caving in. The 17,456-square-foot building hadn’t been maintained in at least a decade, Makhoul has said.One of the 14 new apartment units ready for move in on June 1 at 811 Northampton Street in Easton. Thursday, May 30 marked the grand opening to show off the apartments hosted by developer Manny Makhoul. (Kristen Harrison/)It was purchased by developer Abe Atiyeh from the school district in 2013, and at that point had been vacant at least a decade, Makhoul has said. He purchased the property from Atiyeh in 2017.Makhoul originally wanted to put 22 apartments there, but the city’s ordinance only allows up to 20 units per acre. At seven-tenths of an acre, only 14 units are allowed.Makhoul’s project also drew concerns from some city officials, including Mayor Sal Panto Jr., that the units would be too small.The proposal prompted city officials to pass an ordinance setting the minimum size for new apartments at 450 square feet.Makhoul said his project was exempt since it was approved before the ordinance. The majority of the apartments are more than 450 square feet. Only two are 350 square feet, he said.Makhoul does hope to add six more units to the building and said he plans to apply for a variance. If he is allowed, two units would be added to the first floor and four would be in the building’s lower level.Project Manager of Makhoul Electric Maher Makhoul gives a tour of some of the 14 new apartment units at 811 Northampton Street in Easton. Makhoul describes the construction of the windows, which were not present in the formerly Easton Area School District administration building before Makhoul Electric took it over. Thursday, May 30 marked the grand opening to show off the apartments, and tenants can begin moving in June 1. (Kristen Harrison/)Maher Makhoul, the project manager and Manny’s brother, said the apartments are being marketed to young renters, particularly Lafayette College students. Some of the units have already been rented out, with tenants planning to move in Saturday.State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, praised the project on Thursday, saying that it helps preserve one of the city’s two remaining community school buildings.Cottingham Elementary was likely built in the 1930s, Freeman estimated. The only other community elementary school still standing in the city is the former Traill Green School on Washington Street, which has also been converted to apartments.“I think it’s a good adaptive reuse. It’s a beautiful building,” Freeman said.Manny Makhoul was able to preserve some of the exterior historical elements, like the slate roof and brick facade, which includes an arched entryway and high-arched windows.The inside of 811 Northampton Street in Easton, where developer Manny Makhoul had hoped to construct 22 apartment units.
////NEWS//// (CHRISTINA TATU / THE MORNING CALL/)But the interior had to be completely gutted.It had extensive water damage and soot stains on the ceiling where Manny Makhoul believes there was a fire at some point.The Northampton Street project is similar to a 17-unit apartment complex Makhoul did in Allentown at the former W.H. Hunsicker School on Sixth Street.He also recently completed eight apartments at the former Catholic War Veterans social hall on Washington Street in Northampton Borough.Morning Call reporter Christina Tatu can be reached at 610-820-6583 or
Source: Morningcall

Call Now Button