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Renovation of historic Easton riverfront property nears completion

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ Spartan Holdings owner Peter Georgoutsos, left, with Unity Bank president and CEO James A. Hughes, at 101-103 Northampton St. in Easton, a mixed-use commercial and residential building in the downtown historic district. Unity Bank funded the acquisition and historic renovation of the property, soon to be renamed The Penn Building.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ Spartan Holdings owner Peter Georgoutsos, left, with Unity Bank president and CEO James A. Hughes, at 101-103 Northampton St. in Easton, a mixed-use commercial and residential building in the downtown historic district. Unity Bank funded the acquisition and historic renovation of the property, soon to be renamed The Penn Building.

A New Jersey contractor is working toward completing the renovation of a prime historic site at the gateway to Easton’s downtown business district.

Unity Bank funded Spartan Holdings LLC acquisition and renovation of 101-103 Northampton St., a mixed-use commercial and residential building at the corner of Northampton Street and North Riverside Drive. Property owner Peter Georgoutsos will rename the property The Penn Building, paying tribute to the city’s founders, after the project is complete.

“I really think Easton is to the Delaware River what Hoboken is to the Hudson River,” said Georgoutsos, a resident of Asbury, Warren County, N.J. “The building sits right there on the river as you come over the bridge from Phillipsburg and it’s like a beacon for the city. I saw the property and felt its potential was unlimited, much like Easton itself.”

Once complete, the building will make an important statement to people visiting Easton, including tourists, he added.

He also owns Van-Go General Contracting Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., a company with 26 years of experience in historic renovations.

Georgoutsos decided to renovate and own the Northampton Street property as an investment. The building consists of two commercial units, which are leased, and seven apartments that include two one-bedroom and five two-bedroom units, two of which are available.

The two retail tenants on the first floor – a jewelers and hair salon – will remain.

Over the last year, Georgoutsos renovated the 1860’s Victorian-style building’s interior, including new kitchens and bathrooms, fixtures, floors, appliances, countertops, doors, tilework and custom trim, as well as electrical and plumbing upgrades. The common areas, including vestibule, stairwells and laundry room, also were renovated.

“All the interior renovations are completed,” Georgoutsos said.

Every apartment in the building will have views of the Delaware River, he added.

He also has done extensive renovations to the exterior, which will be completed in the next three months, with the building façade repointed and painted, he added. The building’s historic Victorian porch and bluestone patio also will make a comeback.

“I was looking in Easton for quite a while for the right building,” Georgoutsos said. “Our forte is historic renovations.”

He estimated renovation costs could top $1 million once the project is complete.

According to Northampton County property records, Spartan Holdings bought the property in May 2014 for $567,500.

Monthly rents for the apartments average $1,500, Georgoutsos said.

As the resurgence of people living in the Lehigh Valley and in Easton fuels the growth of apartment renovations and new construction, having a location close to the river could have added benefits for those who work in New Jersey.

“People like the convenience of commuting into New Jersey,” Georgoutsos said. “I think the Lehigh Valley and Easton basically will be the leader [in apartment growth]; that’s where most of the resurgence will come from.”

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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