Step into the Spotlight: Tara & Clayton

Tara and Clayton moved to Center Square Lofts (CSL) to take advantage of the luxury amenities and expand their living space. An added bonus that came along with their apartment was the opportunity to be a part of the growing community in Downtown Allentown. Keep reading to learn more about Tara and Clayton, and learn why they love living in the city.

Name: Tara Hildabrant / Clayton Mason
Apartment Building: CSL East
Years/Months Lived at City Center Residential: 1 year, 8 months
Instagram: @tarahildabrant @claytonmason95

Why make Downtown Allentown home? If you want to live somewhere you can genuinely feel connected to, this is the place to be. There’s always something going on, plenty of places to meet people, and really something for everyone.

Are you a Lehigh Valley native? If not, what brought you to the Lehigh Valley? We’re both Easton natives.

How did you hear about Center Square Lofts? Was it through a friend or online? Having originally rented in STRATA, we were some of the first CSL residents! When we both started working from home in 2020, we knew we needed a bigger space. We met with the leasing team (shout out to Tara), and they suggested we check out CSL as it would offer the best space for both working from home and entertaining. We decided to move in before we even saw the finished apartment! The leasing team was so helpful in initiating a transfer to CSL, where we ended up in a beautiful space with an extra bedroom that makes a great home office.

Why did you choose Downtown Allentown as opposed to other residential communities in the Lehigh Valley? We’d previously lived in another local Allentown apartment complex and were really underwhelmed by the amenities and felt like we were lacking a community. We only knew one other person in our building, and it was our neighbor who came over and introduced themself. What sold us on Downtown was the walkability, resident perks, and sense of community the city and people are working hard to cultivate.

What was the deciding factor that made you choose Center Square Lofts as your new home? In addition to the extra space we needed to work from home, it was the amenities that really sold us. We wanted easily accessible places to hang out that weren’t our living room and kitchen, and there’s plenty here.

Describe your commute to work. I (Tara) still work from home, so my commute consists of walking from one bedroom, to the kitchen for coffee, to the other bedroom where my home office is set up. Clayton works at Mack Trucks in Macungie, so it’s about a 15-20-minute, very easy drive.

Compared to other places you’ve lived, what makes Center Square Lofts unique? The amenity spaces really set this place apart for us. It’s so nice to have places to entertain and spend time with friends that aren’t in our apartment, especially with the option to be outdoors or inside.

What’s your favorite memory so far since you’ve moved to Downtown Allentown? So many to choose from! We really are so grateful that our experience here is a highlight reel. If we had to choose… we volunteered to pour beer at Downtown Allentown’s Blues, Brews & BBQ festival. It was so fun, and we can’t wait to do it again. We met new people, saw a ton of familiar faces, and had a great time!

How did you meet other people in your residential community? Was it at a resident event or happy hour? We’ve met some of our closest friends through living here. The resident happy hours were great when we first moved in to start getting used to names and faces, and we’ve kept in touch with quite a few folks we met there. Primarily, though, we’ve made friends just from hanging out in amenity spaces – we grill a lot, and spent a ton of time at the pool, so we got to know a lot of great people from doing that.

How did you make your apartment, home? I think the biggest thing that makes us feel at home here is our connection to the community around us, from our resident friends to the awesome local business owners we’ve gotten to know. Aside from that, we made sure to keep a piece of every place we’ve lived before in our current space. Our rescue cat, Jinx (@dumpsterjinx), really helps us feel at home too.

How would you describe your decorating style? We always joke that I don’t know what colors are because mostly everything is grey, white, or wooden. We’re big fans of entertaining, so the #1 priority was creating a space we could fill with other people.

What’s your favorite amenity space? As much as we didn’t think we’d use it, definitely the pool. We’ve made so many friends just from being there, and it’s a great relaxation space.

When you have a friend visit, which restaurant or retailer do you take them to? We really do try and take them everywhere. Places we put at the top of the list: Good Guy, assembly88, The Downtown Allentown Market (especially Kim & Karen at Bar 1838), and Bru Daddy’s. All great businesses are full of even better people!

What do you want other people to know about living in Downtown Allentown? It may take a minute to feel totally settled, but it’s worth the investment. You have an incredible opportunity to meet people, stay busy, and form a community here.

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