Larry Holmes’ old boxing gym is now an Irish dance studio

By Danielle Nelson

*This article is posted on The Express Times website.

Boxing gym

Larry Holmes’ old boxing gym in Easton will become the O’Grady Quinlan Academy of Irish Dance. (Sue Beyer)


With the sale of Larry Holmes’ former Easton gym, patrons now will have to trade in their boxing gloves for dancing shoes.

The 228 Canal St. gym, which was briefly Champ’s Corner bar and restaurant, will become the O’Grady Quinlan Academy of Irish Dance. A ribbon cutting is set for Tuesday.

Holmes sold the gym for $360,000, according to a spokesperson from Keller-Williams Real Estate-Allentown.

“We got a good buy,” said Holmes, the former heavyweight champion from 1978 to 1985.

The 33,410-square-foot building includes a parking lot and an apartment that can be used as an office, the spokesperson said. The property went on the market Nov. 3 and sold Dec. 27.

Barbi Cousland said she bought the property because the dance academy outgrew its studio on Willow Park Road in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania.

“The kids needed a bigger home,” Cousland said.

She said more than 175 students attend the academy.

Last year, Holmes announced he wanted to sell the gym, his home and the building with his restaurant on Larry Holmes Drive. He said he didn’t plan to leave the area and he wasn’t in financial trouble, but was tired of being a landlord and “mainly downsizing.”

He’s dropped the price on his home on Sheridan Drive in Palmer Township from $1.7 million to $900,000, according to the Keller-Williams spokesperson. The 11,000-square-foot property sits on 2.4 acres and includes four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a boxing-glove-shaped indoor pool and an outdoor pool.

The commercial property on 91 Larry Holmes Drive is being rented by Allied Personnel and the Easton Area Democratic Committee. It’s on the market for $1.9 million, according to Keller-Williams.

Those interested in learning more about the dance studio are invited to an exhibition 5:30 to 8 p.m.Tuesday.

Students as young as 4 years old can take lessons, according to a news release from the school.

O’Grady Quinlan is the only school in the Lehigh Valley registered with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha, the oldest and most prominent association of Irish dance in the world, the release says.

O’Grady Quinlan sent 17 solo competitors and a team to the 2014 World Irish Dance Championships in London this past April, the release said.

“We can’t wait to begin training in the new 8,000 square foot studio featuring three large dance rooms with stage step flooring, cameras for parent viewing and two changing areas,” said O’Grady Quinlan representative Colleen Schroeder in the release.

The school has additional locations in Allentown, Hatfield, Pennsylvania and Bloomsbury.

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