City Announces Intermodal Loan, Demolition Plans
Marquis Theatre, Perkins, could come down next month.
Easton will begin work on its Intermodal Project next month, thanks to a $4.4 million loan from Merchants Bank.
At a city hall news conference Thursday, Mayor Sal Panto said demolition of the former Perkins and Marquis Theatre properties should begin at the end of next month.
The city said in July that planned to borrow the money. The funds will reimburse Easton's general fund, which had been used to purchase the Third Street properties, and will pay for construction and demolition expenses.
Panto said the firm of Miller, Miller and McLaughlin had offered a $145,000 bid to do the demolition work.
When completed, the intermodal unit will house a new bus terminal, parking deck, restaurants and office space, and a High School Sports Hall of Fame. Panto alluded to a major announcement connected to the latter, but declined to elaborate.
The mayor thanked Merchants Bank -- represented Thursday by vice president Jim Sampson -- for taking an interest in the city. Sampson noted that the city's bond rating didn't hurt.
"It's a pretty big deal for us," Sampson said of the loan, which became official Thursday. "We're a small community bank. We came to Lower Northampton County to do just this kind of business."
In addition to the $4.4 million, Panto said Merchants had given the city's Redevelopment Authority a $500,000 line of credit for its housing rehabilitation program.
Panto said the money will go to rehab six properties in the West Ward. He declined to say whether there would be any overlap between these buildigns and the ones the city has put on its "most wanted" list for blighted properties recently.