EASTON, Pa. - The housing market is making it easy for people to sell homes, but hard for them to buy and find affordable leases. There are several housing projects underway in the City of Easton that aim to change that.
Experts blame those high prices on a shortage of homes and supply chain issues making it hard to build more. Easton is focused on transforming blighted properties into new developments.
Demo is almost done at 100 Northampton Street.
"The existing structure....it dates back all the way to 1880," said Garrett Vassel, the president of Optima Durant Group.
It's the future home of The Commodore, which will have 32 apartments, offices, stores and a rooftop restaurant.
"Some of the uses can feed off one another," said Vassel.
The goal is to be open in a year.
It's one of five housing projects in the works all around the City of Easton.
In the southside, it's been down with old, vacant buildings and up with brand new complexes.
This fall, Easton Yards will welcome tenants into 59 apartments. Come the winter, The Mill across the street will do the same for 55 units. It'll offer social and community support services and what's known as workforce, affordable housing.
"It's based on their income," said Easton Mayor Sal Panto.
On North Third Street, there's The Seville, which will have 70 units, more stores, a community kitchen and a wellness center. People can secure a lease come September, and move in in the new year.
"Good design, good infill construction, and it brings people downtown," said Panto. "You can't beat that."
Over on South Third Street, the giant Confluence is being built from the ground up. It's set to have 240 apartments, shops, entertainment and more.
There is no word yet on when that'll be finished.
The mayor says the $75 million project will end up giving the city $1 million a year in taxes and the school district $1.4 million.
"More buildings, taxes, makes it easier for people who live here to pay taxes because we won't have to raise taxes," said Panto. "We'll actually grow the community, and bring back our population."
The mayor says at one point, Easton had about 35,000 residents, but that's dipped down to 25,000.
"We're trying to rebuild our city back up to what I call pre-urban renewal days of the 60s and 70s," said Panto.
Developers say they're committed to working with old and new residents to get these additions right.
"We continue to be thoughtful about what goes into these spaces for retail so that that can best serve the tenants that are going to call this place home," said Vassel.