The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Development projects to bring housing, retail space to downtown Easton
Among the construction projects is The Commodore, a mixed-use property at 100 Northampton Street. (Photo courtesy of

Receiving nearly $1 billion in investment in 2022 and featured by the New York Times, Easton has drawn local and national attention for its development in recent years. Downtown, several projects are nearing completion in 2023 that, developers and Easton officials hope, will further add to Easton’s allure. 

Located at 100 Northampton Street and stretching along Larry Holmes Drive is The Commodore. This mixed-use space – which will feature 32 luxury apartments along with retail and office space, as well as a rooftop restaurant operated by the current owners of Allentown’s Grille 3501 and Bethlehem’s ZEST bar+grille – is set for a tiered opening in 2023. 

According to Garett Vassel, the founding president of the real estate company responsible for the project, the residential units will open in the spring and the restaurant will open in the summer. 

Vassel said that The Commodore will be an iconic site at the gateway to Pennsylvania and create a more vibrant downtown. 

“I think this is a timeframe in history where people are very drawn to living in areas where they can walk around [and] be part of a small collaborative city, but not have to live in a city like New York where it’s for some maybe just overwhelming,” he said. 

Two other projects are along Larry Holmes Drive. 

The larger of the two, a mixed-use unit called The Confluence, will be located at the corner of South Third Street and Larry Holmes Drive, a lot that currently sits vacant. The Confluence is projected to feature 278 residential units with 180 parking spaces and 20,000 square feet for commercial and retail spaces, including a two-screen cinema. Construction on the project, led by Peron Development, will begin in the second quarter of 2023. 

North along Larry Holmes Drive behind the Governor Wolf Building will be The Watermark, an apartment complex with 150 projected units that is set to be completed by Easton’s V&M Development Group in quarter four of 2023.  

The last major project is led by Lafayette alumnus J.B Reily’s Allentown City Center Development Corps. The Marquis, which will feature 275 residential units and 6,000 square feet of commercial or retail space, will be located at S. 3rd and Pine St., the current site of a parking garage. The garage will soon be razed so that construction can begin in the first quarter of 2023; a parking deck on the fourth block of North Street, which is nearing completion, will provide additional parking. 

Sean Ziller, Easton’s community and economic development administrator, said that these projects will draw people to and generate significant tax revenue for the city.

“I think a lot of residents who live across the Lehigh Valley are going to see Easton kind of no longer as the little sibling to Bethlehem or Allentown, but really an incubator on its own,” he said. 

To accommodate visitors, city officials approved plans for the construction of a hotel in 2023 at the current location of One Centre Square, which closed last year. 

Amid these development projects, Ziller emphasized that the city has an equal focus on developing affordable housing to make sure that residents aren’t being pushed out. 

He noted that four million of the approximately $20 million Easton received from the American Rescue Plan funding after the pandemic will go towards affordable housing. For example, construction will begin on the Shiloh Commons affordable housing on Canal Street in South Side in the third quarter of 2023. 

“We can meet with developers every day, but ultimately, we serve residents and people who visit Easton. They still need [and] want a walkable city, small-town feel that I think Easton provides,” Ziller said. “The developments you see are complementing the existing residents and that affordable housing is equitable for residents who live here or who want to come to Easton.”

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About the Contributor
Nathan Kornfeind
Nathan Kornfeind, Editor-in-Chief
Nathan Kornfeind is a senior from the Lehigh Valley studying  Government & Law and German, with a minor in History. He has been writing for The Lafayette since his first semester on campus. In addition to his role with the newspaper, he is the president of German Club.

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    Pastor Joe grasserJan 31, 2023 at 8:48 am

    No commitment to southside other than housing, in need of grocery store, laundromat, banks, Healthcare site, diners…