Apr 26, 2009
Neglect Has It's Reward
The City of Allentown, through the Redevelopment Authority*, purchased the property it demonized last year with it's first Landlord of Shame. We paid $93,500.00 for 343 N. 9th Street, described last year as following:
"The properties have a lengthy list of code violations and have been delinquent in the payment of taxes and fees. There are numerous interior and exterior code violations at 343 and 345 N. 9th St. The units lack fire separation/protection between units and hard wired smoke detectors with battery back-up. There are numerous electrical violations throughout the buildings, including exposed wiring. The homes are missing plumbing fixtures. Windows need to be replaced."
The owner, Adam Thor, had paid $110,000 at the height of the market in October of 2005. In that time frame I met Mr. Thor, he was in an acquisition mode, obsessed with purchasing property with no down money, disregarding the price of the property. That property was not worth $110,000 then, it wasn't even worth $93,500, and that was before it became distressed.
I have not asked the City or Redevelopment Authority for an explanation, and in return I have been told nothing I can't believe. I do believe the City should not be in real estate business, nor have they ever been particularly good at it. Paying too much for this property may be the lessor of two evils. I know from prior statements the City aspired to acquire and deconvert houses in that block; I would hope Mr. Thor's induction into the Landlord Hall of Shame was not a strategy for that purpose.
* The Redevelopment Authority is independent from the City, however, under this Administration, this Authority and The Parking Authority have been functioning as agents of Pawlowski's Agenda.
UPDATE: Photo shows 345 N 9th. 343, directly to it's right, is less impressive. Both properties are tagged as unfit and padlocked. My curbside appraisal of 343 is $44,000. I'm not a licensed appraiser, but I did recently stay at a Holiday Inn.