A high-tech company from California is looking to open an East Coast headquarters in downtown Easton. Access Networks, based in Los Angeles, will open at a vacant three-story property the company bought at 225 Ferry St.
Tammy Huk, a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Heritage Real Estate in Bethlehem Township, said the deal closed Friday. Huk said she represented Hagai Feiner, founder and CEO of Access Networks, and Carl Martinez, the owner of the Ferry Street property.
Feiner said he bought the property for $900,000 and expects to invest more into to make it operational since it is a shell.
The site of a former dry cleaners, the property required seven months of environmental testing from the state Department of Environmental Protection, Feiner said. After two rounds of soil testing, he doesn’t expect there to be any more and is awaiting a final report from the DEP.
Moonstone Environmental, a firm based in Upper Macungie Township, also performed testing and indicated it was a low risk property, Huk said. Moonstone had been referred to the project by Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., she said.
Besty Schamberger, president of Moonstone, confirmed the testing is complete. With that out of the way, Feiner said he is looking ahead to starting construction and moving in by late June.
He hired R+D Architecture across the street in Easton as the architect. “We hired them to create a plan that is minimally invasive to the building,” Feiner said.
While he still has to acquire an occupancy permit from the city, he is looking at installing outlets on the floor, rather than drilling into walls. “The building has a lot of history and we are not taking over, we are becoming a part of that history,” Feiner said.
“I never dreamed a place like this existed.” He enjoys the historic architecture of the downtown and said he also chose Easton since his wife was born and raised there and his in-laws live there. He plans to create offices on the first and second floor of the building and use the top floor for an apartment to stay when he and his wife are in town.
He is also planning to build connections with Lafayette College and has been in conversations with college officials. Feiner said he could possibly offer equipment that’s left over for students to use and offer students the chance to visit the office.
Peoples Security Bank & Trust, headquartered in Scranton, with an office in Bethlehem, financed the project. No other bank would finance the project without the DEP process complete, Feiner said. “They did something very courageous,” Feiner said of Peoples Security.
He plans to open the Easton location with two employees but build the staff to 12 with a fully functioning logistics operation. “The additions will all be local talent,” Feiner said. His company supplies the network and security of the data for people seeking a connected “smart home,” a concept that Feiner said really began to take off in 2010.
With a smart home, people can control technological functions from one device, such as a laptop, he said. These functions can include everything from temperature control systems to televisions.