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Easton's former Silk Mill project can start construction in coming weeks

By Tom De Martini, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 19 2013 07:37:52 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 19 2013 09:13:42 AM CST
EASTON, Pa. -

Construction on the first two phases of the $70 million R.H. Simon Silk Mill project could begin in the next few weeks after the Easton Zoning Hearing Board granted two special exceptions to developers Monday night.

Zoners granted a special exceptions for new construction in a flood plain and several usage and parking variances to allow for 27,873 square feet of retail space, 20,221 square feet of office space and 82 apartments in the first phase of the project, located at 671 N. 13th Street.

Zoners also granted an additional exception for the building of a 72-space parking lot on a separate portion of the site.

Developer Mark Mulligan, of VM Development in Flemington, N.J., said construction on the long-anticipated project could start in a matter of weeks.

Construction plans for the mixed-use Silk Mill development were approved by the Easton Planning Commission earlier this month.

Mulligan said the first two phases of the project will cost approximately $50 million with total construction costs, when complete, weighing in at $70 million.

Mulligan said a total of 133 parking spaces were allotted in the first phase of construction, bringing total parking for the initial two phases to 205 spaces.

"We didn't max out the parking on the site," Mulligan said. "We saved enough space for parking on future phases."

An arts and entertainment complex is also eventually expected to complete the 14-acre site. The city received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to assist with road and infrastructure costs.