Hamilton Street's Rite Aid will close it's door July 10th. Although it was against their corporate policy to join me and the merchants protesting the Pawlowski endorsed Lanta Bus changes*, it is also against their corporate policy to tolerate a 40% reduction in revenue. Hamilton Street is on it's knee's. This week three long term businesses announced their closing. Pawlowski was hoping his house of cards would stand until the next mayoral election, it doesn't look like it. All grant money is being funneled into keeping the Brew Pub open. No work has occurred at the former Sal's site for over three weeks. Pawlowski's lack of business experience is beginning to be very costly to Allentown. Many investors, some capable of investing much more, are being abused** by his bureaucracy, while a few select properties are being promoted. These tactics may well result in lawsuits, costing the city even more.
* At the time of the Lanta protest, I respected Rite Aid's corporate position, and didn't dwell on the fact that a national chain was being driven off of Hamilton Street. The Mayor and Lanta board were too self absorbed with their "vision", to understand they were depriving the merchants of the cash flow necessary to remain in business.
** Apartment owners are having their buildings declared unfit for habitation because of some external peeling paint. Commercial owners are likewise being threatened and bullied with inappropriate demands. I will refrain from citing addresses at this time to spare these hapless owners from more harassment.
UPDATE: Channel 69 news reports that Rite Aid is closing because of it's merger with Eckerd, which has a store"several blocks away on 7th St". The Eckerd is almost 10 blocks away. CVS has a store at 12th and Liberty and another at 16th and Liberty. The Hamilton Street store is closing because they lost the prescription and other business from transferring bus passengers. At some point in the future, we will pay a consultant who will make the recommendation to restore the transfer stops back to Hamilton Street.
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