The following resolution authorizing eminent domain is being put through City Council by the Administration. The arena will have multiple ramifications for center city Allentown. In addition to altering the historic shopping district, center city residents will experience a sufficient increase in traffic, especially in the evening after events. If such a decision should have been made solely by the Mayor, is a fair question. Although another meeting with the affected merchants is scheduled for Tuesday, their opinion and options are apparently of no significance.
R 28 A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Allentown Authorizing the Preparation and Submission of Declarations of Taking and Related Documentation pursuant to the Eminent Domain Code of 1964, as amended, to Acquire Certain Properties bounded on the east by North 7th Street, on the north by Linden Street, on the west by North 8th Street and on the south by Hamilton Street within the City of Allentown – inclusive of the following properties, in the event any of these properties cannot be acquired by the City amicably before the institution of eminent domain proceedings in the Lehigh County Court:
12 N. 7th St, . 22 N. 7th St., 38 N. 7th St., 40 N. 7th St
42-44 N. 7th St, 46 N. 7th St., 48 N. 7th St
21 N. 8th St., 23 to 27 N 8th St, 29 N. 8th St.
31 N. 8th St., 33 N. 8th St., 35 N 8th St.
37 N. 8th St., 39 N 8th St., 41 N. 8th St.
43 N. 8th St.
701-703 W. Hamilton St.,705 W. Hamilton St.
707 W. Hamilton St., 709 W. Hamilton St.
711 W. Hamilton St., 713 W. Hamilton St.
715 W. Hamilton St., 719 W. Hamilton St.
721 W. Hamilton St., 723 W. Hamilton St.
725-727 W. Hamilton St., 729-731 W. Hamilton St.
733-737 W. Hamilton St.
716 -718 W. Linden St., 720 W. Linden St., 728 W. Linden St.
UPDATE: City Council has been not given, nor has yet asserted, any role in this huge part of Allentown's future, except now being asked to sign off on legal confiscation.
UPDATE 2: Although I attended the first meeting with the merchants and city, and suggested the meeting for tomorrow (I also requested that Mayor Pawlowski attend), I no longer plan on attending. I have learned that the city just distributed a letter to the merchants outlining the Arena Plan, but predated the letter till early April. Merchants, to their credit, are willing to overlook the lack of good faith, and will be attending. Apparently, City Council is accepting the Administration's claim that many properties have accepted the agreement. I believe that those who have signed the agreements are those which have been long vacant, and see the opportunity for a bailout. I'm not surprised that the Administration once again has City Council under it's control.