March 21, 2019. Our program featured former Easton Rotarian Pete Reinke who now works for Ashley Development. Pete organizes a monthly social event known as FOP. The FOP has been known to draw over 100 participants, many of whom are young professionals looking for a place to get involved. He urged us to attend the gatherings and spread the word about Rotary. He also noted that the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is looking for retirees to share their knowledge and experience.
Ashley Development was founded by Lou Pektor in 1989 and has been one of the most active development companies in the Lehigh Valley. They are currently involved in the renovation of the Heritage Lanes building on Third Street. The new office building will house Hearst Publishing and will feature a second-floor of spacious offices overlooking the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers. The former Express-Times building has been repurposed as a Charter Elementary School and a new Police Station. The Charter School may be expanding to include a Middle School.
The City of Easton has released three RFPs for new parking garages. The old one between 3rd and 4th Streets is in poor condition and needs to be replaced. Possible garage locations include the Boyd Theater lot and the existing parking area behind the Public Market.
The old stable-style building on 6 Street South is being converted into 18 apartments. The Kaplan's Awning building is under development and plans call for a seven-story structure with a rooftop restaurant. Easton has a lot of fine restaurants but lacks office space and retail stores. The old Larry Holmes building is under-utilized and might be a good location for offices.
Projects in Palmer Township include the Birchwood project on Freemansburg Avenue which already has 97 of 100 apartments filled. The old TTT/ Triton building is scheduled to be replaced with another 300 apartments. A development in Forks township on Meko Road behind lsl Energy features 100 units. Overall, Pete presented a highly positive snapshot of a community with a vibrant economy and incredible potential for growth. That community is ours.