English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At least one tenant for Easton’s proposed intermodal center is signed for what passes for perpetuity these days — 99 years.
City Council approved a master lease Wednesday night for the yet-to-be-built intermodal, inking the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority to a long-term deal in return for an upfront payment of $7.2 million. The lease with LANTA is through the city’s parking authority, which in turn will operate the 370-space parking deck and bus terminal portion of the project.
LANTA’s cash payment, derived from a federal transportation grant, is a major source of funding for the $26 million intermodal. Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. hopes to couple the LANTA money with grants obtained by the city to cut the amount the city must borrow to no more than $13 million.
Site work for the project started last year after the city demolished a Perkins restaurant and a movie theater on S. Third St. Construction could begin this summer.
The City of Easton will begin a $20 million project that is expected to bring visitors and jobs into their downtown. The city is building an intermodal transportation center which will include a parking garage (350 cars), a commercial complex and the National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum. It is hoped the project will be completed by the end of 2012.
Demolition of the former Perkins Restaurant and the Majestic Theater will make way for the new project. The city (Parking Authority) secured $8 million in state and federal grants along with floating a $12 million bond to pay for the project.
Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA), Greyhound Bus Lines and Trans-Bridge Bus Lines will be making their homes at the new transportation center.
A restaurant is also planned for the space which would be a great benefit for travelers and visitors to the museum.
We applaud Easton for their creativity. Easton is the smallest of the three Lehigh Valley cities with a population of 26,000 and is the county seat of Northampton County. The National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum will join the Crayola Museum and the National Canal Museum as Easton’s third major downtown museum.