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Brooklyn businessman sets sights on Lehigh Valley

Brooklyn businessman Marc J. Freud is making moves in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Freud, honored in 2013 by this paper as a King of Kings County for his dedication as managing principal of Troutbrook Company and Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites Brooklyn, has recently made moves with his business in purchasing a 124-guestroom Hampton Inn hotel in Allentown – a prominent part of Lehigh Valley, whose growing popularity Freud compared to Brooklyn’s Gowanus area.

“I think that what’s interesting for us to see in 2014 is that there’s a way in which the Gowanus area has really become a destination over the past year,” he said of his Brooklyn roots. “There are a tremendous amount of restaurants in the vicinity and new venues for our guests. It’s expanding.”

Freud, also owner of the Fairfield Inn and Suites of Brooklyn, sees a similar resurgence in the cards for Lehigh Valley.

“I think that Easton has a strong artist population that’s going through a resurgence and nearby Bethlehem has certainly started to become a really vibrant artistic community,” he said of Allentown’s neighboring communities. “There are tons of venue spaces for bands and other creative company bases.”

Freud’s latest purchase — adjacent to Interstate 78 (Route 22/Walter J. Dealtrey Memorial Highway), and near major commercial demand generators including Sharp, Nestle, the Coca-Cola Company, Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), Amazon and more – has gone under a multimillion-dollar renovation to assure a better stay experience.

The Hampton Inn, also only 13 miles from the Lehigh Valley International Airport, will also see the welcoming of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms – a professional hockey team under the American Hockey League – to their own arena in the area.

“I think with the opening of the Allentown Phantoms arena there will be more and more people coming to Lehigh Valley and Allentown,” said Freud, making the comparison to Brooklyn’s response to the Barclays Center and the Nets basketball team. “We’re in close proximity to Philly and New York, and, just like Brooklyn has become an international hub, there have been international businessmen coming into our hotel recently due to the enormous development of Lehigh Valley distribution.”

According to Freud, business is booming and everyone at Troutbrook is excited.

“We’re a real estate owner across asset classes; that’s what we do,” he said. “I think the Hampton Inn will be great.”

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