Nov 8, 2008
Hamilton Without Lanta
It has been about a year since Allentown and Lanta ended their historic covenant with the merchants, and the result has been a disaster. The 700 block of Hamilton, although not glamorous, was viable. Years ago there was an expression; there's many more nickels than quarters. Without the bus traffic, no less than 6 businesses have closed. All the new stores have been subsidized by city grants. Currently on Allentown Good News, a blog sponsored city officials, they're bragging about a women who sells coffee and cookies, and even that required a grant. The bad news, is that the gentrification hoped for, never materialized. Johnny Manana's, despite 50 thousand and a county sponsored liquor license, has locked the doors. Last spring, Mayor Pawlowski said 150 grand left from facade grants, may be spent to support existing restaurants. How much we really put into Manana's may never be known. Mayors will blame the economy for the failures. In ten years, we will hire a consultant for hundreds of thousands, who will recommend restoring bus transfer stations to Hamilton.
artwork by Karoline Schaub-Peeler