The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Mixed-use development officially opens downtown

Photo by Andreas Pelekis for The Lafayette
The Commodore’s opening came after a six-year construction process.

The Commodore, a new mixed-use development that consists of rooftop dining, retail and luxury apartments, opened on Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate one of many Easton revitalization projects.

“This building and the businesses are going to drive foot traffic to our city of Easton’s amazing community,” said Erin Deutsch, assistant manager for the Easton & Phillipsburg Area Initiatives of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, at the ceremony. “This vision coming to life is huge.”

Located in the Downtown neighborhood, the Commodore was developed by Optima Durant Group to provide a solution to the growing need for commercial and residential space downtown, according to its website. The seven-story space is filled by Thyme Rooftop Grille, Agamon Bakery and Clever Girl Winery, in addition to 38 luxury residences.

The luxury residences opened in September, and multiple families have moved in.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony included speeches from members of the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as the founder of the Commodore project, Garrett Vassel, before the building officially opened for business.

The view from the top of the Commodore. (Photo by Andreas Pelekis ’26 for The Lafayette)

The chamber is “all about business resources and celebrating the milestones of businesses,” said Caitlin Hamlin, manager of Easton & Phillipsburg Area Initiatives of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. “This was a huge one for downtown Easton. When [Vassel] asked us to be a part of the celebration, we always do ribbon cuttings, so it was a perfect fit.”

Vassel, the founder of the Optima Durant Group, bought the property in 2018 as the beginning of a six-year-long endeavor. According to Vassel, the ribbon ceremony as a culmination of this project was a moving experience.

“It’s been such a journey here,” Vassel said at the ceremony. “It just means everything.”

The Commodore brings about a host of possibilities to the Easton community. Thyme Rooftop Grille, a rooftop restaurant serving New American cuisine with a floor-to-ceiling view of the city, is one component of the new addition. With over 8,000 square feet, Thyme may function as a reservable space for events. It is currently unknown if Lafayette students will be able to reserve the space for college events. 

“We really want the students to come down and engage with the downtown community,” Hamlin said. “There’s Thyme Restaurant, a fitness center, a bakery and a cafe, so we hope to bring students down here to get involved with us.”

Andreas Pelekis ’26 contributed reporting.

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Madeline Convy, Assistant News Editor
Andreas Pelekis, News Editor

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  • K

    KayFeb 2, 2024 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve seen photos of the inside of the apartments and restaurant. Very boring, dull and sterile looking. Very disappointing especially since it’s so expensive to live there. And… that clock. Pointless… it’s barely visible during the day and not at all at night.