State investment brings 55 affordable apartments to Easton
EASTON, PA – City of Easton Mayor Sal Panto, Jr. and Councilmembers joined developer PIRHL, LLC, development partners: Stewart Silk Mill Redevelopment Partners and Easton Area Neighborhood Center, and residents, on August 1, 2022, in the City of Easton to celebrate the grand opening of The Mill at Easton, a new affordable housing community. The 71,000 sq. ft., 55-unit development was constructed on a remediated, blighted, brownfield property located across the street from the newly built Cheston Elementary School.
Located at 620 Coal St., the site was once home to a silk mill, followed by a stainless-steel fabricator which went out of business more than 20 years ago. The property fell into disrepair over the years and due to its central location in a residential community it was placed on the city’s priority list for redevelopment.
The Mill at Easton is a $18MM, 55-unit development for working families, seniors and professionals earning incomes at or below 80% of the Area Median Income. This building features two three-story buildings including 11 one-bedroom, 30 two bedroom, and 14 three-bedroom units. The larger of the two buildings includes a community room with kitchenette and management suite, a kids’ activity room and study, and a fitness room. Each unit includes energy-efficient appliances, central A/C, balconies for select units, pantry, and a washer and dryer. The community was designed to meet the standards of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home Program.
The property features social and community support services provided by The Easton Area Neighborhood Center, Fulton Bank, Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley, and Project of Easton. A part-time service coordinator facilitates education, wellness, and social programs for residents.
Lara Schwager, Senior Vice President of Development for PIRHL who served as the developer and general contractor on the project moderated the Ribbon Cutting ceremony. She took a moment at the outset to acknowledge all involved in making the day possible. She said, “Today is about celebrating the work and the achievement of delivering important housing to the City of Easton.” Lara concluded the event by noting that, “Every partner involved in The Mill at Easton knows that at the end of the day, we do this work because every person deserves a safe and decent place to call home.”
“This development is helping The City of Easton to meet our number one priority which is providing affordable housing for our residents.”, said City of Easton Mayor Sal Panto, Jr.
The Mill at Easton represents a true public-private partnership with support offered by many development and financial partners: The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency awarded the project 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which generated $12.8 million in private equity. PHFA also provided $1 million in funds from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement program. The project also received a $2 million Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, and more than $1 million in assessment and remediation funds from the PA Industrial Site Reuse Program. The community also benefited from approximately $335,000 in Community Cost Relief Program (CCRP) funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, which was distributed by PHFA. We are grateful to the Governor’s Office for dedicating these dollars towards LIHTC projects that were under construction through the pandemic. The Northampton County Department of Community and Economic Development provided $25,000 in funding from the Affordable Housing Program. The City of Easton awarded the project $100,000 in American Recovery funds.
The Mill at Easton has been developed in partnership with PIRHL Developers, LLC, Stewart Silk Mill Redevelopment Partners, and Easton Area Neighborhood Center.
Households who are interested in The Mill at Easton are invited to visit www.millateaston.com.
Founded in 2004, PIRHL is a full-service investor, developer, general contractor, and owner of affordable and workforce family housing headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, with offices in Hamilton, New Jersey and Chicago, Illinois. PIRHL’s approach leverages deep expertise in acquisitions and asset management, development, and construction with strategic financial and local partnerships.
Information provided to TVL by:
City of Easton Marketing Consultant