EASTON, Pa. - After years of sitting vacant, the old Simon Silk Mill in Easton is seeing a lot of activity.
More businesses are opening there and soon the first tenants will be moving into brand new apartments at the site located at 13th and Bushkill Streets.
Developers say the project is unique because they basically wanted to build a destination place inside the city of Easton, a plan that includes a lot of different businesses.
There are a few buildings that need a lot of work and there are a couple that are open for business.
Getting the Simon Silk Mill to this point has been years in the making, plus developers had a bit of a challenge.
"It has to be a city of its own almost,” said Mark Mulligan, CEO of VM Development Group. “You've got Easton but you've got a lot of geography that blocks it from downtown."
That means in order to attract, and keep people, there has to be plenty to do close to home.
"We're going to have a grocery store bodega, hair salons, artist, photographers, and we've got a couple of ale companies coming, two brewers," added Mulligan.
The apartments are not all the way complete. Crews are doing their final touch-ups before the first of 150 apartments are ready to open in March.
Some businesses are already open.
"I love the location, I love the building and I love the Silk Mill project," said Joann Piserchio, owner of Salon at the Silk.
Salon at the Silk has been open since November, and the clientele is growing.
Just around the corner at Trinity Fitness, owner Matt Stocker believes this project will grow his business and become another hot spot in the city of Easton.
"I think the clients, they tell me that it's just a beautiful facility and they can't believe what happened," said Stocker. "It's like we've been wandering the desert for eight years and we came to the promise land."
Developers want to remind people this is still a construction site, but you can visit the open businesses.
The development group is still on target to have every building operational by 2018, and the entire project complete by the summer of 2019.
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