EASTON, Pa. - Could a 100-room hotel be the next development in downtown Easton? One developer thinks so.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto laid out four developers' proposals for the site of the Pine Street parking garage to Northampton County Council's Economic Development Committee Thursday night.
The hotel proposal is just one idea. Others include retail space and apartments.
The proposals include buildings between five and nine stories tall, although the mayor says the site is zoned to go as high as 15 stories.
The property is part of a 10-year tax-reduction program to encourage development.
Municipal, school, and county taxes are exempt in year one, dropping by 10% per year until it expires.
"It's [Pine Street Garage redevelopment] a very important piece of [land] because it's half a block from Center Square… right behind Crayola,” Panto said.
A board, made up of city leaders and members of the community, will review the proposals and make recommendations to city council and county council, who will have the vote.
Northampton County Councilwoman Tara Zrinski said generating revenue from hotel tax is good but the question is, is a hotel needed.
"It's kind of a fine line that they're walking on to develop a parking that will add revenue for businesses but will also maintain that joy of having that walking city,” Zrinski said.
In March, Easton City Council approved plans for a new garage to be built on North 4th Street to replace the aging Pine Street structure. It's expected to add 500 spots.