Back in February WCP wrote that the Fairmount Apartments in Allentown had been sold (see state of building). Since that time, the corner building has been empty, though work has been underway to rehab the apartments and the two storefronts. I spoke to building manager, Jack DiGiulio of Pearl Allen LTD., who told me that the final touches were being added to the building in anticipation of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy. At one point this building was the cause of a lot of headaches for residential neighbors. It was a source of drugs and loud noise, ultimately contributing nothing but bad news to Allentown.
Today The Fairmount looks a heck of a lot better from the outside, and Jack tells me that the inside has undergone significant improvements as well. Additional good news is that both commercial spaces on the first floor have been leased; one by a smoothie\juice bar and the other by a salon. “At this point the smoothie bar (called Code Blu Juice Bar) is working with the layout with their architect in order to get a permit,” Jack told me. “The beauty salon storefront will be temporarily rented out (over the weekend for Allentown Gallery Walk) to UB students who are installing a graphic art project.
“As for the apartments, the building is in the electrical stage. We’re separating the electric for each unit. The apartments will have all new appliances. It’s been quite a good makeover. If you want to get quality apartments it has to be well run and maintained to attract a decent clientele. We’re painting all of the walls, the closets are being remade with new cupboards in the kitchen. We’ve tried hard to open up the apartments as much as possible. All new floors are going in and some of the ceilings had to be re-drywalled and painted. We plugged up every single leak – the plumbing was old and leaked. When the water pressure was increased the leaks increased. We spent half our time taking care of water leaks. We had the walls open for plumbing, so we decided to run all new electrical. The building is built like a fortress – it’s too hard to fish lines. The roof is excellent – we coated and sealed it.
“We painted all of the window frames (the same color) – we took out the framing and re-glazed and re-caulked all of the windows. The windows are all buttoned up. Since the building was empty, it gave us the chance to upgrade everything to the latest codes with the latest smoke detectors, etc. We’re looking into transom window designs (and what codes will allow and not allow) and we’ve met with Kohler Awning regarding bringing back the awnings on ground level. Once we get the C-of O we’re going, to start to lease the apartments.”