The owners of five Lehigh Valley restaurants are embarking on major renovation projects at their Palmer Township and Easton locations.
Lehigh Financial’s Mike Gilbert said the Martinezes, who renovated part of the project last year, will use the new funding to make extensive renovations to the main building and a large portion of the storage buildings.
“We refinanced to be able to add a new roof to the main building, paint the outside, install new windows, upgrade the HVAC and overhaul another building in the back of the 25,000-square-foot-property,” Martinez said.
When they finish renovations this summer, Martinez said he hopes to find new tenants for the other building near the restaurant, which could offer space for medical or commercial tenants. He currently has a mix of contractors, landscapers and smaller self-storage units in the building.
First Commonwealth Federal Credit Union funded the $1.7 million renovation loan, Martinez said.
The first Mex Grill in the valley opened in the College Hill section of Easton in 2011. However, it closed in June when Lafayette College began building dorms on that block.
Martinez said the college was upfront in letting him know their plans for building student housing on that block about four years ago. Martinez said the college’s decision is why he is renovating a space inside The Spot that will become a new Mex Grill location at the base of College Hill near the college.
“We will be instrumental in helping him get financing for that as well,” Gilbert said.
Martinez has a lease agreement with Lafayette, which owns the property, and he will use the entire site for his restaurant, which will have the same menu as his other locations.
“We are a month away from opening,” he said. “We developed an awesome relationship with students and staff. For now, the goal is to continue to add more value for our customers.”
Martinez said he began the relationship with Lehigh Financial last year.