May 15, 2008

Neglect Has Its Reward

Readers of yesterday's Morning Call were treated to a feel good story about Allentown's problem apartments.* Three buildings in one row on 9th Street, 326, 334, and 340, but not 328, are to be purchased by a Mr. Grant. I'm not sure who Mr. Grant is, but apparently money is no object. After crunching the numbers, I realized the Redevelopment Authority will be paying about $75,000 per apartment, before costs to deconvert and remodel. Altogether, Mr. Grant plans on spending about 14 million dollars to deconvert 18 row houses. Although the cheerleaders will proclaim it a worthwhile start to combat Allentown's problems, 18 deconversions will not affect the quality of life, or lack thereof, in center city. But as long as bureaucrats realize the public does not directly connect their wallet with "Grant", these positions, projects and insider deals will always exist. I know something about that row on 9th Street, I operated 328 for many years. I made too many upgrades for the current owner to qualify for the gravy train.



Mrs. Dottie said...

What happens to the tenants/ families who will be forced to leave and what if they don't qualify for re-location money from the city? What if they have children enrolled in the schools? I don't understand how this works.

michael molovinsky said...

these feel good programs are so absurd. in addition to paying the property owners two to three times the real market price, they also create situations with the tenants. it's difficult for the landlord to collect while the building is in limbo, on the other hand the relocation money is a incentive to move in. the cheerleaders rejoyed about tearing down the well maintain housing projects because they were built back in the 40's, now they justify spending nearly $400,000 each on houses from 1895. but if your a old allentown yuppie, especially if your a bureaucrat, what do you care if they spend 14 million if it improves your house value. to me it's borderline white collar crime