Heritage Lanes Building in Easton to Undergo Transformation
By Colin McEvoy on May 17, 2019
The former Heritage Lanes bowling alley in Easton is being transformed into a Class A office complex that will house the Hearst Corporation and is expected to bring as many as 200 workers into the city upon full occupation.
City officials and principals from the Ashley Development Corporation held a groundbreaking ceremony on May 16 for the building at 132-142 South 3rd Street, which will be redeveloped and expanded into a two-story, 42,000 square-foot facility.
The new building will be known as Heritage Riverview, with the entire first floor being occupied by employees of the Hearst Publishing’s Enthusiast Group, which include the company’s magazines Runner’s World, Bicycling, and Popular Mechanics.
The project is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr., who spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people at the groundbreaking outside the building, located just across the street from Easton’s City Hall.
“The restoration of the Heritage building is an integral part of the city’s renaissance,” Panto said.
The current building is a single story encompassing 21,000 square-feet. In addition to the expansion, the redevelopment project will include a complete upgrade to the building’s 30-space underground parking garage.
The Heritage Lanes bowling alley closed in the late 1990s, and the building previously housed a restaurant, printing facility, and Pep Boys. Ashley Development purchased the building in January 2016.
The city of Easton has experienced $700 million in economic development over the last 12 years, Panto said, resulting in the creation of hundreds of new jobs in the city. Urban regrowth projects like Heritage Riverview are a major focus for the future development in Easton.
“This was a part of the city that was once empty and forgotten,” Panto said. “What’s happened in the last 12 years is tremendous for Easton, and will help development continue in the city for a long time to come.”
Several iterations of possible uses for the Heritage Lanes building were considered – including apartments, condominiums and mixed-use – before Ashley Development elected to convert the building into office space, according to Louis Pektor, managing member of Heritage Riverview.
Downtown Easton has seen great growth of its residential market in the last few years, as well as new downtown presence and renowned restaurant and arts scene, Pektor said. The next piece of the puzzle has been adding new and high paying jobs, which Pektor said this project will provide.
“This project was able to come to fruition through close collaboration with Mayor Panto and the city of Easton team,” he said. “It is very satisfying to be able to bring such a preeminent tenant to the city, as Easton continues its downtown revitalization.”
The development team has a decades-long track record of developing and renovating key projects in the urban core of the Lehigh Valley’s cities, having recently completed the conversion of the Express-Times building into a new home for the Easton Police Department and the Easton Arts Academy Elementary Charter School.
Work will also commence this year on the conversion of the Dykes Lumber building on South 6th street into 14 luxury apartments. The same team is currently developing The Estates at Painter Farm in Williams Township, the Townhomes at Wrenfield in Upper Macungie Township, and Sullivan Square in Forks Township.
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