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The Commodore Project to Provide New Gateway for the City of Easton

By Colin McEvoy on June 20, 2022

A rendering of the exterior of The Commodore project in Easton. (image provided by Optima Durant Group)

Visitors entering the city of Easton from the Phillipsburg free bridge will be greeted by a beautiful new gateway project offering retail, office, and residential space overlooking the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers.

Located at the intersection of Northampton Street and Larry Holmes Drive, the seven-floor Commodore will also include a 8,350 square-foot rooftop restaurant and terrace, as well as the Commodore Clock, a visual focal point located catty-cornered on the building.

“The Commodore is one of a number of important marquee projects for the Lehigh Valley, and an important one that will serve as a gateway and a statement for the city, which I think takes on a life of its own,” said Garett Vassel, Founding President of Optima Durant Group, which is developing the project.

A rendering of the interior lobby of The Commodore project in Easton. (image provided by Optima Durant Group)

The 74,000 square-foot Commodore project is expected to be fully complete by early 2023, but will open gradually in stages. The first stage to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy will likely be the retail space, which Vassel said could be as early as this fall. Once this is achieved the retail tenant can start their own buildout.

The building at 100 Northampton Street was the longtime home of Kaplan’s Awnings, before the Kaplan family sold it to Optima and relocated to Easton’s West Ward neighborhood. Parts of the building were in a state of disrepair, and Vassel said the Commodore project will breathe new life into one of the city’s more visible spots.

The Commodore is the latest chapter in the story of Easton’s transformation, with a focus on arts, culture, and restaurants that has garnered national attention, including a recent story in The New York Times.

“This project protects the best of the past in saving the Kaplan building, and the new iconic structure highlights our beautiful waterfront,” said Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr., who also said the project will bring businesses that add to the city’s daytime economy.

The mixed-use building will include a complete ecosystem including two ground-level retail spaces, an exclusive lobby dedicated to commercial tenants, 12,000 square-feet of first and second-level office space, 32 residential apartments, and a 8,350 square-feet roof top restaurant, Vassel said.

“We’re trying to execute on certain aspects of this project that go above and beyond,” he said. “We’re not just trying to necessarily do the minimum with the design or go with the cheapest options. We’re executing on things the right way to embody that marquee, gateway aspect.”

The Commodore is now accepting residential, office, and commercial tenants. Visit here for more information.

The building’s Class A office space will include 10-foot glass windows, with 16-foot ceiling on the ground floor and 14-floor ceilings on the second floor, overlooking an expansive panorama view of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers.

The Commodore is within walking distance to Easton’s extensive dining and shopping scene, and its location adjacent to Scott Park will connect tenants to recreational trails along both rivers.

The project has been four years in the making, and the COVID-19 pandemic slowed development and delayed the initially-planned opening date, Vassel said.

“We’ve had some pretty extraordinary challenges, COVID being one of them. But I hope the community will agree that it was worth the wait.”

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