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Northampton council approves town house project

A large tract on Northampton Borough’s north side, which has laid barren for decades, will now be the site for a town house project that will be built in 2021. The property is off 21st and Main streets.

Borough council gave unanimous approval at the Nov. 5 meeting for the 40 town houses to be erected by Abe Atiyeh, a major developer in the region.

Atiyeh owns two other properties in the borough, a small apartment complex on Washington Avenue, which was formerly Catholic War Veterans Post 454, and the former Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4514 at Main Street and Laubach Avenue.

Atiyeh agreed to numerous conditions outlined by Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian. The borough solicitor then read three options involving technical matters. The third option involved tabling the project for further review.

“That’s a deal breaker,” Atiyeh said, adding he would not proceed with the project if it was tabled. He noted he already spent a large amount of money to have the plans submitted to council for action.

Council then agreed to the first option, which involved technical requirements regarding the proposed development for the 40 town houses.

The borough planning commission, at a meeting held in October, recommended to council the project be approved. Councilmen Robert McHale and Kenneth Hall are members of the planning commission, which gave consent to have the development move forward.

Station Alley and West Alley will have a large role in the construction of the project, regarding widening the roadway and directional signs, which could include a one-way egress. The development also involves 22nd Street.

Atiyeh agreed at the planning commission meeting to provide a $75,000 donation to the borough. Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst said there are no restrictions on how the borough could spend that money.

Brobst reported Atiyeh can start doing preliminary work on the construction site and later continue with further development as different conditions, which include technical matters, are complied with by Atiyeh.