The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Three new buildings coming Downtown

Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
The Commodore will be the first of the new buildings to finish construction.

Easton community members will start to see a new city skyline over the next few years, as the city is in the process of numerous revitalization projects. Some of these projects have largely been carried out in the last few years, while two new buildings will break ground later this fall.

The Commodore, a new building at 100 Northampton Street, built by Optima Durant Group, is nearing completion. The building topped out earlier this year and is currently accepting applications for new tenants. Located near the Northampton Street Bridge, The Commodore has 32 residential apartments, office space, retail space and a rooftop restaurant, according to the building’s website. 

Garett Vassel, founder and president of Optima Durant Group, saw a great opportunity for Easton with The Commodore’s influence. 

“I saw a lot of potential for the property and saw [a] blighted building that could be transformed into a symbol of the city,” Vassel said. “I would say that you went from having a blighted building there to having a building that I think, in every sense … definitely tries to state a sense of going a little bit … above and beyond.”

Vassel also further explained that he wants the Commodore to transcend the status quo in Easton in a modern way. The city’s tallest building, the Alpha Building, dates back over a century.

“You see mostly just boxes,” Vassel said of Easton’s current style. “You don’t see buildings that look like the Commodore all over the world.”

In addition to the Commodore, The Marquis, another new building complex, will undergo construction scheduled to begin in October.

Managed by the City Center Investment Corp and Lafayette alumnus J.B. Reilly, The Marquis will be a mixed-use residential building that replaces an existing parking garage at 27 Third Street. With 403,685 square feet of designated space and a cost upwards of $65 million, it is the largest residential construction project in Easton’s recent history. 

Reilly pointed to some of Easton’s municipal issues that acted as motivation behind such a project.

“I think that there is a significant shortage of housing in Easton, and so we think adding more residential apartments in Easton will have a very positive impact on the downtown and Eastside community,” Reilly said.

Additionally, Lafayette College’s growth was a major factor in these changes.

“We absolutely named the project [Marquis] in name of Lafayette College,” Reilly said. “That was not an accident and we recognize how important the college is to the city of Easton and vice versa. And so we’re very pleased to continue to help support this relationship by naming the building The Marquis. The building is geared towards younger people, helping support a growing community in Easton.”

City Center Investment Group is also working with Peron Development to build another $88 million, 250,000-square-foot apartment complex in downtown Easton called The Confluence. The building will feature apartments and retail space. Like The Marquis, construction for The Confluence is planned to begin in the fall.

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About the Contributor
Emma Sylvester
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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  • N

    NolanSep 8, 2023 at 3:24 pm

    One of the best things I’ve ever read, author deserves a Pulitzer.