Clarke Schools sells portion of Northampton property for $4.8 million
GAZETTE FILE PHOTO The Opal Real Estate Group has officially closed on a $4.8 million deal to buy the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech campus in Northampton. Purchase photo reprints »
NORTHAMPTON — Opal Real Estate Group officially closed late Friday on a $4.8 million deal to buy a portion of the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech campus, paving the way for a roughly $9 million renovation over the next two years.
The Springfield development company, which bought a portion of the school campus under the name Historic Round Hill Summit LLC, plans to convert an area of the 10-building, 11.8-acre campus off Round Hill Road into luxury apartments and commercial, medical and office space.
The school continues to operate elsewhere on the site, including its infant-toddler programs, preschool programs, mainstream services, Smith/Clarke Masters Program and the Clarke Hearing Center.
“I believe we have a project which supports the overall development goals of the city while preserving the property,” Demetrios N. Panteleakis, Opal’s chief operating officer, said in a press release.
Panteleakis said campus amenities, parking and proximity to downtown make it the perfect location. He praised Clarke staff for being stewards of the historic property and vowed to follow in the school’s footsteps.
The state’s Historical Commission granted a historic tax credit to Opal last month that means company must maintain the look of the building exteriors and grounds. The credits were the last hurdle before Opal could close on the deal, which was announced some 18 months ago.
Panteleakis said in March that the company would move ahead immediately with traffic improvements on Round Hill Road through the campus and off-site improvements along neighboring Elm Street.
The campus development, to be called Historic Round Hill Summit, calls for four buildings on the west side of the campus to house professional and medical office tenants. Those buildings are Gawith, Adams, Coolidge and Skinner.
Four other buildings on the west campus will remain as they are, including the Galbraith Physical Education Center.
On the east campus, Opal will convert Hubbard and Rogers halls into 38 luxury apartments.