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Tama bldg plans move ahead

Contractors could be on the site of the former Tama Manufacturing Company to begin major renovations by spring.

The Northampton Borough Planning Commission voted last Wednesday in favor of converting the three-story structure into apartments.

Before Pat and Dan Donnelly, of Middletown, N.J., can begin work on the property located in the 1700 block of Main and Franklin streets, borough council must give its consent. A vote by borough lawmakers could take place within the next several weeks.

Daniel Ebner, architect for the project, said he hopes construction and major renovations will begin in early spring. He is optimistic the work could be completed in six months.

Ebner said the three-story building will house 13 apartments, including a mix of one- and two-bedroom units approximately 1,400 square feet in size. The apartments are being designed to attract clients who prefer upscale living arrangements. All new windows and doors will be installed and the exterior will be upgraded with a fresh stucco finish. Adequate parking will be available.

The barn/warehouse building at the rear of the Tama structure will be used for storage.

Borough officials view the proposed change as beneficial to Main Street and its businesses because it upgrades a worn, empty structure, giving it a vibrant new use.

Attorney William McCarthy, solicitor for the planning commission and borough, is requiring a red maple tree be planted on the site. The planning commission recommendations include a macadam pathway from the rear to provide ingress and egress to the apartment building.

Tama Manufacturing shut down its apparel manufacturing in the borough years ago. When Tama closed its plant, it moved its apparel operations to the Race Street Extension in Hanover Township, Lehigh County. The Tama building in Northampton has been vacant ever since.