Lehigh Valley

Lafayette gets temporary dorms, Silk Mill gets bank

EASTON, Pa. - The Easton Planning Commission Wednesday night approved plans by Lafayette College to build a temporary dormitory for 52 students on the parking lot of the area known as March Field.

The commission also gave preliminary approval for a drive-thru bank at the Simon Silk Mill, the $60 million renovation of the abandoned mill at North 13th Street and Bushkill Drive. Developer Mark Mulligan said the bank is the last phase of the project, which consists of businesses, shops and about 150 apartments.

The new bank will be located in a one-story building on the site of an old junkyard. Mulligan said he does not have a bank lined up yet as a tenant.

The temporary dorms at Lafayette will be used for about two years before they are removed, according to the college.

College Hill resident Drew Anderson spoke against the plan and said the college had not conducted an impact study. Danny Cohen, the attorney for the college, said Anderson’s were irrelevant.

“He’s a month late,” Cohen said.

The commission also approved a plan by American Radio Works to demolish and consolidate five lots into one parcel of 13,835 square feet in the West Ward. The plan would demolish  four existing vacant single family homes at 1234, 1236, 1238 and 1240 Wood Ave. There is a used car dealership at 331-333 N. 13th St., which the city recommended not be allowed to expand on the other lots.

American Radio Work said it plans to build a new building at a later date, possibly with a mixed commercial use.

The commission approved a plan in the city's South Side by Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley to subdivide two parcels at 600-602 Valley St..

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