Mar 3, 2011

Dream Location Announced


After being evasive during Wednesday's afternoon press conference, late last evening Mayor Pawlowski announced the actual location for the hockey arena. "It will be built on the perfect spot, the Lanta Transfer Lot. The arena will front on both 6th and 7th Streets and adjoin the existing large parking deck." Pressed for details, the facility developer said; "Why would we built on a sinkhole prone hill when there is a firm flat space one half block away? In addition to the obvious construction advantages, no private property would have to be acquired and taken off the tax rolls."  Contacted in New York City, the owner of the long dormant former Nickel and Dime Bank building was disappointed. "We haven't been able to rent one square inch since my impulsive purchase years ago. My family was looking forward to being taken off the hook."  Owners of the 7th Street properties toward Linden Street also expressed dismay.  "Does this mean we must fix up our buildings?"   Tamara Weller, Director of the Parking Authority was delighted. "I have waited many years to turn on the Full sign at the parking deck, hope it works." Armand Greco said that the bus transfer stops will return to Hamilton Street, "Where they belong."

            Daryl Nerl, Bob Wittman, Scott Kraus, Paul Muschick, Jarrett Renshaw and Chris Baxter contributed to this article.

10 comments:

Local said...

This will be, at best, a huge windfall for the Allentown Parking Authority, a huge mess for decent tax paying citizens, and fine pickings for the local criminals.
Just replace the bus stop that should never have been located in center city with another folly at the expence of taxpayers.
If this unbelievably dumb project must occur in Allentown, how about the lot along the west side of American Parkway between Hamilton and MLK - with more parking on the south side of MLK.
No people with homes to take there.
A good reason to put in that American Parkway connecting bridge, for access...
Will the wrong people benefit from the increased property values if the center city spot is not used??? This will not, in any way, improve life in the City of Allentown.

Anonymous said...

One thing that is not being discussed prominently --- the MONEY.

The waterfront project was reputed to be in need of $ 80.0 million from the state.

The state is reputed to be in serious financial trouble.

The Brooks Group has long stated they have only $ 20.0 million to invest in construction.

Is the state still planning on funding the difference?

But the children are starving...what about the school breakfast programs, then?

------------------------------

"WHY ARE WE FINANCING STADIUMS?"

Kristina Gostomski
The Morning Call
April 22, 2009

Monkey Momma said...

Stadiums DO NOT make an area prosperous. Good lord, ever been to Camden?? Or Newark? These areas certainly are NOT benefiting, at all, from an arena in their city. And what will this do for all the folks who use street parking every day? I would NOT be happy if I lived in Center City (for a variety of reasons) and this arena would only make me more miserable.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. Another not so dry Palowski dream. Time can not move fast enough until this ijiot moves on to better pickings.

Allentown will have to go the way of Detroit before it turns around. It has to hit bottom, as they say in addiction parlance.

The stadium will not cure the situation it will buffer it for a short time. Will produce little tax revenue in and of itself and eventually do more harm than good.

But this is the Palowski way. God bless us all. They might as well do away with city council. They are truly a useful class of clowns.

How about a couple more restaurants as well.

Chumscrubber

John said...

You know, I find the hypocrisy of the whole idea kind of funny. When the Hess's building was demolished wasn't it the idea of the then Republican mayor to build a hockey arena on that site? Now fast forward and now the Democrat mayor wants one at 7th and Hamilton.

Two different parties, same bad ideas.

The arena itself is not a bad idea, HOWEVER, I have towo big issues with it. Taxpayers in an already cash strapped City and State should not have to shoulder the bill.

What I would like to know is when exactly do the senior citizens get a break? When does the middle-class get a break?

The City wants to build cheap (for the residents, not the taxpayers) housing for the low-income and tax the crap out of the people that are unfortunate enough to be just out of the low-income bracket.

Anyway, back to the arena. The hockey arena would be well placed somewhere near the American Parkway, whether by Coca-Cola park or along the Lehigh (which will prompt the building of the American Parkway extension bridge).

Either way, there is still a lot of money that needs to come out of thin air. Of course I don't see the developers putting all that money down. But maybe they don't want to invest too much in the "black hole" (I bet the Mayor forgot about that comment, I didn't).

Then again, the City has not done what they should with the area around Coca-Cola park either. That area should have been made into a nice commercial corridor that has the restaurants and shop there. Put the "big boxes" there. Let the downtown be the smaller local shops. Instead the land is completely undeveloped except for the yardwaste site, Ehrlich, and a cemetary. Right there is a clean slate and we can't even get that right.

Patrick McHenry said...

John -

Good post but I'd like to make two points on it:

1) The previous downtown arena (proposed by Mayor Heydt) was a PRIVATELY-funded arena which would have cost $15 million. I'm sure the size was different and prices have gone up in the last decade but one has to wonder about the $70-100 million figure for the new arena. Of course, this one will be built with our money (including union labor and the usual government waste).

2) It's not the government's job to put anything around the arena -or the Iron Pigs stadium. In the case of the Pigs, I think the proper conclusion to make is sports arenas do not create the spinoff economic development that the politicians like to promise.

With such a clear (and recent) example like Coca Cola Park, we would do well to be skeptical of such claims for the arena.

John said...

I did know about both issues, my point though wsa more the fact that people on either party at one point or another were saying it was a bad idea, it is just a matter of which point in time.

I do agree it is not governments job to develop anything. This should be an area they promote and try to get developed. Instead, they have just let the properties go. Tropicana still owns 18 acres along the parkway yet. What exactly are they going to do with it? I have seen them hammer others to get their hands on their properties but yet land that has so much potential value, they just let sit there. They don't need to finance development to create it. They just need to get the ball rolling by trying to get a use out of it. They did this along the riverfront to get the properties down there, why is this so different.

Anonymous said...

Are there any other cities where a project of this type and magnitude was dumped directly in a downtown area?

Seems to me to be much like the paradox of Atlantic city. The gems of developers dreams dropped in among the blight of a decaying city.

All stadiums eventually have to he recreated. This vision is a bit over blown. Does it even begin to take into account the lives of the citizens living in this area?

Anonymous said...

Michael:

Demographics on this issue and maps can be found at www.allentowndemographics.com

David Zimmereman

Anonymous said...

I just don't think Flyers fans,who get all their games on cable tv will be trudging to downtown Allentown to see their minor league team...and pay for it no less.
The Iron Pigs so-far success is not a model. There is a big diffence between a nice summer family night at Taxpayer Park vs. a cold and dreary winter night in center city. Also, at all the Pigs games I've attended it seems half the crowd (women and children in the lead) pay little attention to the game...it's more the atmosphere they enjoy. That can't be said of an indoor hockey game featuring a bunch of nobodies with vowel-less names.