Proposed downtown Easton development could cost the city hundreds of parking spots. But are they needed?

Written by on September 27, 2021

 Proposed downtown Easton development could cost the city hundreds of parking spots. But are they needed?

By Tyler Pratt

September 27, 2021

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

Downtown Easton stands to lose hundreds of parking spots as the result of a proposed new housing development off the square. City officials are asking: is the parking necessary? 

Listen to the story.

The Marquis is a planned 7-story mixed-use development with more than 270 residences and roughly 300 parking spaces. It’s slated to replace the Pine Street Garage downtown, which at the most recent Easton City Council meeting, Mayor Sal Panto, said was deteriorating.

“I parked in it the other day for Clam Jam and I was not impressed as being the mayor and owning a place like that,” Panto said.

But the Pine Street Garage garage currently holds about 500 spaces. The Marquis’ developer is Allentown’s City Center, which has been behind all the new buildings and parking garages in downtown Allentown.

City Center Senior Project Manager Robert Di Lorenzo said the building will have a “shared model for parking,” meaning they anticipate Marquis’ residents will be gone in the day while downtown workers use their spots.

“Building parking is expensive,” Di Lorenzo said. “Having the opportunity to double dip on parking makes the project feasible.”

City Administrator Luis Campos said the reason Easton chose Allentown’s City Center to develop the project was in part because of their parking expertise. 

“They do manage 1,200 spaces in Allentown, that’s double than what we currently manage,” Campos said. 

City officials said most downtown visitors still park on the street. And the pandemic has reduced the number of workers who physically come into jobs.

Another parking garage is being constructed on N. 4th Street that city officials say will help boost parking stock, but it’s not scheduled to be completed until later next year.

The Marquis is slated to open in Spring 2024, but the project has not yet been approved by Easton City Council. 

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