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Slatington Marketplace to be reshaped into event and food venue

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    Sean Ganey, part-owner of JJS Land Development LLC of Allentown, shown inside The Slatington Marketplace, where plans include renovating portions of the property to include a farmers market, Expo center, and possibly a winery or microbrewery. Scan this photo with the Prindeo app for a video. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS

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    An artist rendering of The Slatington Marketplace project.

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    An artist rendering of The Slatington Marketplace project.

Published December 08. 2018 07:29AM

Plans to revamp The Slatington Marketplace to include a farmers market, Expo center, and possibly a winery or microbrewery are on the horizon.

Sean Ganey, part owner of JJS Land Development LLC of Allentown, is one of the three owners of the 235,000-square-foot facility located at 8281 Route 873 in Washington Township.

Ganey said there are currently 140 vendors in the antique mall, which will remain.

He said Phase One would include a farmers market, Phase Two would be an Expo center, and Phase Three a winery or microbrewery with restaurant.

“We have expanded the footprint of the existing marketplace with plans to include a Expo center, roughly 45,000 square feet, home shows, trade shows, wedding shows, on the south side of the building,” Ganey said. “On the north side we’re going to create a farmers market-type concept with some retail vendors, 40 to 50 ideally vendors, and then five to seven retail vendors.”

Ganey said the farmers market would include about five to seven retail vendors, even potentially Dunkin’ Donuts, and should be complete by the end of spring. It will consist of produce, baked goods, local distilleries, breweries, wineries, coffee and bagel shops, pizza shops, and a licensed area for a bier garden.

The Expo center should be completed in the fall, he said.

Ganey said the goal is to turn the facility into a family-friendly attraction.

“A lot of ideas kind of stem from personal needs, so to speak,” he said. “I have a rambunctious child at home so we’re all just kind of looking for stuff to do on the weekends, get him out a little bit, and we just thought this would be kind of a neat idea to turn it into a destination.”

Ganey touted the building’s rich history.

“It’s a great old building, the longtime former Keystone Lamp Factory, one of the largest employer-friendly companies back in its heyday before it shuttered,” he said. “We wanted to kind of keep the old rustic feel of the building, modernize it a little bit, and I think we can achieve that.”

Ganey said there could be anywhere from 75-85 people working Wednesdays through Sundays.

“The community’s been behind us, they’ve been great, they’ve been supportive,” he said. “We’re going to ultimately create jobs, so it’s kind of a win-win proposition.”

Ganey added, “this building has so much sentimental value to so many people because it employed so many people.”

“It’s been commercially quiet here,” he said. “I think that geographically, there’s good access, and people are always looking for family activities.”

Ganey said construction should start in January, weather dependent, and that The Slatington Marketplace and its vendors will continue to operate during the renovation process.

He said the total anticipated construction cost is about $5 million.

The architect for the project is Daniel Ebner Architects of Allentown.

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