Apr 16, 2011

Involuntary Conversion


In real estate, an involuntary conversion is when your property is taken by no plan of your own. The merchants of Hamilton Street are facing an involuntary conversion.

molovinsky on allentown has learned that the city is buying up the square block between 7th and 8th, Hamilton and Linden Streets, for the hockey arena. The subsidized Farr building, a Pawlowski pet project, will be spared. Although offers they can't refuse are based on the fair market value of the real estate, their livelihood and right of free choice are being violated. These businesses are not only their income, but security for their family's future. Many years ago, the city zoning made me close a photo studio in the area of Raub School. I was told that if I wanted to be insured the right to operate, I should have located in the business district. There once was a covenant between Allentown and merchants. If the merchants invested their time and money, the city would provide a district which secured their investment. Several years ago the merchants were upset that the bus transfer stops were removed; Little did they realize that they would be next. If the Pawlowski Arena for Sports and Culture doesn't work out, we will have lost the business district for naught.
UPDATE: Apparently, some of these offers were made as an option to buy, with an undisclosed buyer. A local prominent realtor, is acting as a straw buyer , for either a speculator or the city. Threats of eventual eminent domain. with a lower price, have supposedly been made to encourage signatures.

29 comments:

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

I can't imagine that acquisition will be done in time for the when they want to play in hockey arena.

Unless the city is paying far in excess of market value (which is in itself an issue), there will surely be some holdouts. That means a long court process to be able to actually take the land through eminent domain (which might not even be possible in PA due to the nature of the project).

I remember a few years ago when Sacred Heart was expanding and one person (an attorney) held out. I believe it was many years until he left, and he was paid far in excess of the original "final" offer.

Karen M. Samuels said...

This is off-topic but I love the photographs on your blog!

Anonymous said...

The unbelievable arrogance of these crooks knows no bounds.
A bunch of well meaning cretins that live elsewhere "solving" a big local problem without consulting with the people living there.
Throwing millions of dollars at a project destined to further trash the community whilst providing piles of money to a small colluding handful of scoundrels.

Anonymous said...

MM.
Let's see: A local mayor perhaps behind the scenes by himself is deciding the complete future of the state's third largest city and the newly hired 100K plus school boss is hiring staff by perhaps hidding their names within lengthy school documents. Please keep us informed about Marin and the possible buy-out of the business corridor. If inappropriate deeds are being done, the public has the right to know. Thank you for your
diligence.

Isn't Marin responsible for public tax dollrs funding at least one now defaulted Hamilton Street restaurant?

" Anonymous said...
You traffic in rumors. You should be ashamed. Marin has served the public honorably and is an asset to Allentown and the region.
April 15, 2011 1:55 PM"

Anonymous said...

How can someone who even while trying to do a good job losses thousands of tacpayer dollars not even feel embarrassment?

Anonymous said...

What if...some city hall official plans to tear down or move the Soldier's Monument to make 7th Street four straight lanes. Now, that as awful as it sounds makes such traffic pattern logical sense.

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing that, at this point in time, the State has $ 80 million for the proposed PAWLOWSKI PALACE of SPORT.

What about all the starving children and the bankrupt before-school breakfast programs?

What about all the dying women who can't get their government funded abortions?

Where has Priority gone in Society?

Anonymous said...

Blogger michael molovinsky said...

i have confirmed that marlin was indeed hired. details will follow. needless to say, one more bureaucrat was not in order, considering all the teacher layoffs. due to a technical problem, i'm unable at this time to update the post, thus this comment

April 14, 2011 5:55 PM

If this is true, won't it open the floodgates to rumor and innuendo?

Anonymous said...

Marin was approved on 3/24/11 as the Administrative Center Community Before/After School Activities Project Manager.

Her salary is $84,000 effective 4/4/11. If this was a viable position, it should have been offered to a deserving citizen of Allentown or an administrative position should have been moved over to this purportedly grant funded position.

It is a major transgression that this went to one of The Administrations political cronies.

By the way, there was no problem discussing Ray O'Connell's position that evening.

What an credible disappointment this is.

Please let me know how the Hockey Arena project will increase the graduation rate in ASD.

I am waiting to hear the convoluted rationale on that one.

David Fehr Zimmerman
ASD School Board

Anonymous said...

Wonder if someone's creating a
Hamilton Street authority. News reports claim New Jersey has created
an authority to take over the Atlantic City casino corridor.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
You traffic in rumors. You should be ashamed. Marin has served the public honorably and is an asset to Allentown and the region.
April 15, 2011 1:55 PM"

April 17, 2011 9:41 AM


Right.

Anonymous said...

Some Americans play by the rules. Some don't.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Marin was approved on 3/24/11 as the Administrative Center Community Before/After School Activities Project Manager.

Her salary is $84,000 effective 4/4/11. If this was a viable position, it should have been offered to a deserving citizen of Allentown or an administrative position should have been moved over to this purportedly grant funded position.

It is a major transgression that this went to one of The Administrations political cronies."


This is disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Didn't realize the new ASD administrative position was being discussed here. Glad it is! See my post on the other thread.


As for the new arena idea . . .

It's a real boondoggle at that location. What you saw in the architect's rendering was a much larger facility. One that couldn't possibly fit on the 7th Street site, even with some property aquisitions.

Additionally, there is NO need for another 8,000 seat facility. Reading, Hershey, Wilkes-Barre have already beat us to that punch.

A larger facility WOULD work better as part of the Bethlehem casino complex, but that's not where this supposedly "free" money is earmarked.

Like it, or not, Allentown's downtown has a horrible reputation, deserved or not,the 7th Street concept already has 3 strikes against it.

Most importantly, I object to taxpayer's money being re-purposed like this, given the dire straits our economy is in.

Anonymous said...

How does Marin walk into any school building knowing she has used
privilege to obtain yet another (what is it this time, her third, fourth) government job?

Allentown taxpayer said...

Retired ASD:
No offense, but when was the last time you got out of the house?
The last 2 years I traveled to Reading a half-dozen times to see shows that should have been playing here in Allentown, as well as, or instead of, Reading. When the Allentown arena is built, they will be. And because it'll be a 15 minute drive instead of 60 minutes, I will probably attend twice as many shows.
Just today I spent $139 on 2 tickets for a show in Philly that perhaps a year or two from now will be playng in Allentown.
Ever been to a Reading Royals hockey game? Damn fun, fella.
Probably as much fun as an Iron Pigs game. How about "Allentown Aces" as a name for our local minor league hockey team?

Anonymous said...

April 17, 2011 7:02 PM

shill.

Anonymous said...

naysayer.

Anonymous said...

Damned right I'm a naysayer!
I am one of many slated to get screwed by this absurd waste of money.
Lying shill.
This is NOT going benefit the citzens of the City of Allentownin any way.
This will only line the pockets of a few chosen individuals.

Anonymous said...

I know return you to the regularly scheduled

BREAD and CIRCUS with the proposed PAWLOWSKI PALACE of SPORT

here in the City With No Limits.

(cool slogan, say - effective propaganda can do so much)

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Allentown taxpayer -

Truth is, I have extensive experience with special event promotion. Right now, I spend about 30 days per year in hotels related to my travel to various events nationwide.

One of the rules of successful marketing is this . . . present your product as unique, make it something NOT available elsewhere within your market.

The current, planned Allentown facility just won't cut it, given similar competition ALREADY available. Competition offering same-scale attractions.

Would Stabler Arena be more attractive with 2,000 additional seats?

Don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Thanks, Michael.

I DO find some solace in Zahorchak's explanation, if true. Although, it's still a new taxpayer-funded expense.

I am relieved the Marin position is not being paid with funds that could have been used to save two classroom positions.

Nice work.

michael molovinsky said...

retired, i would be more comfortable if the position was deferred, and then went to a laid off teacher. to my knowledge, marin has no experience in either education or parenting.

this dialogue between retired and myself pertains to an update on the previous post, caution, unconfirmed rumor

Anonymous said...

You have a grant funded position.

You take an employee on the ASD payroll, preferably in an administrative position, and transfer them to the new position.

You take their old job and split up the responsibilities to a number of others and then you take the now available salary and transfer it to the teachers salary budget line.

Should not be that hard for a troupe of PHd's and Ed's to figure out.

Plain and simple this is political patronage. The responding email is patronizing BS. Don't fall for it.

Allentown taxpayer said...

Teacher:
Stabler would indeed be more competitive with a larger seating capacity; one reason given for its lack of activity is just that, it is too small, not to mention there is no ice rink.
And you suggest that Reading is in our market? Or Philadelphia for that matter? Not so. How can you argue that a downtown Allentown arena would be redundent? That is like arguing the Iron Pigs will fail because there are similar attractions and venues like Coca-Cola Park, located in Reading, Wilkes-Barre or Philadelphia. These are not in our market. As I said earlier, driving an hour or more or an event is not what I call enticing or convenient.
As for staging "special events" ... there is no existing facility for that purpose in the Lehigh Valley other than Stabler. And with Stabler you will not be staying at any hotel nearby, or walking to dinner, much less staying at a hotel. I know there is an annual car show at Stabler, but what else does Stabler host as a special event? Why is that? And do not get me started on the horrible traffic around Stabler when thousands of cars arrive at once for an 8 p.m. event. That is what you get when you stage an event in a cornfield with country lanes as access roads.

Allentown taxpayer said...

Anon 7:10 --
So expressing my personal thoughts about the benefits of a downtown arena makes me a lying shill?
You are right, watching a hockey game in Reading is no fun at all. You are right, I did not really buy tickets Sunday to an event in Philly that I wish was being held in Allentown.
And you are ight, I am not really forced to drive an hour to 90 minutes to attend events that likely would be held in Allentown if there as an appropriate venue here.
You got me.
PS: Did you know Elton John played a concert in Reading a few months ago? Yeah, it was at the same place I saw Yanni stage a concert two years ago. Funny, I did not see them coming to Stabler. Must have missed that announcement.

Anonymous said...

Not only a lying shill, but one of the perpetrators cronies.
For you and your little group of theives to suggest that this debacle is "worth it" because it will save you a 15 minute drive to Reading (To see Yanni??)is ludicrous.
This SECRET plan will make the lives of local residents even more like hell.
You don't even live in town.
And you sure as hell are NOT walking around the city at night!
There are several places MUCH better suited for the large waste of money you crooks are planning.

It doesn't work for you unless you seize citizens private property.
You all pretend to be Robert Moses weilding the big power of imminent domain to build some fantasy land
when, in fact, you are small time thugs intent upon acheiving this nefarious goal regardless of damage you do to the entire center city of Allentown.

Monkey Momma said...

"And do not get me started on the horrible traffic around Stabler when thousands of cars arrive at once for an 8 p.m. event."

I'm not anti-hockey or anti-development, but downtown Allentown is a horrible place to locate a hockey arena.

How do you think traffic will be in downtown Allentown?? Just going to small shows at the Symphony Hall are traffic jamming experiences already. And where will all these hockey fans park? Downtown is in no way equipped to handle an 8,000 seat venue.

If this was such a great opportunity for the city, it would be developed with private dollars. As it stands now, though, it's just another giveaway for well connected developers looking to cash in on government corruption, stupidity and short sightedness.

Regardless, the litigation around this project will take years to iron out - I do not see this project being viable in the "real" world.

Anonymous said...

Is the parking deck at Linden and Sixth St. operating at a huge loss?
Will an arena be needed to provide customers for the Allentown Parking Authorities empty parking deck?
The parasitic bloated ticks that are our many city authorities and agencies, and our arrogant Mayor's deranged plan to slam up an unwanted, poorly thought out structure for a violent sport is certainly making Allentown even less of a place to visit or live.