Dec 9, 2011

Lowdown on Butzville

The Morning Call has a story on the Butz building expansion, and the financing to be used. Blogger Bernie O'Hare published an excellent commentary on the behind the scenes. Being an early morning edition, with an office under the streets of Allentown, I can fill in the missing pieces. Bernie muses on the financial cocktail of Butz using both a RACP grant and a NIZ loan. Funny he should say that, because the Sangria Restaurant, in Butz's building, has a cocktail called Your Money; I'll provide the ingredients later. Bernie also wonders how private developers will be able to compete with Butz and his subsidizes? Actually, Butz can't even compete with himself. All his existing tenants are taxpayer subsidized. The large space now occupied by Sangria stood vacate for years. Although the Building was subsidized by KOZ, Butz received a grant of nearly half a $million to outfit the space for Sangria, so that they could move in with no set up cost. The first contrived tenant was the Lehigh Valley Tourist Bureau. Come to 9th and Hamilton and see what? Park where? The second tenant was professional glad hand Tony Iannelli, and his Chamber of Horrors. In fairness to Butz, he did want to originally build from 9th Street to the alley, but the Alliance would not sell at that time.
UPDATE: IN FURTHER FAIRNESS TO BUTZ his existing office building replaced two boarded up buildings, that had little to no prospect for reuse. The existing building was a huge plus for Allentown, and one of the better results of the KOZ legislation. It appears to this blogger that the new Butz addition project is more NIZ loan worthy than the blanket loan given to Reilly.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote here a few days ago about Sangria being empty.

Monkey Momma said...

Well, Sangria was packed yesterday at lunch with folks congratulating themselves. But usually, Sangria is VERY slow during the day. And at the new-ish PP&L building across the street, the cafe and the restaurant are out of business and stand vacant. The only business open to the public in the PP&L plaza is a bank. This is while the city builds new "restaurant & retail space" right next to the vacant spaces. And we're about to put even MORE soon-to-be-vacant retail establishments under the arena.

I'm not sure how much shopping and eating the Administration thinks can happen in downtown Allentown, but it would seem that we should fill the vacancies the city already has on Hamilton before we build more retail space. Oh well, who ever said corrpution makes sense to those not directly benefiting from the corruption?

michael molovinsky said...

momma, honored as always to host your insightful comments. however, as before, i must note that corruption is your word, not mine. although you feel that i'm splitting hairs, i have never alleged corruption or even pay to play; rather, i feel we have misguides policies based on delusion. i'm not uncomfortable with hosting your comment, and hope likewise, you're not uncomfortable with this disclaimer.

Anonymous said...

Well it's nice to hear Sangria was
packed at lunch. Perhaps one person stopped by on an off day. Sorry to hear the PPL restaurants are again closed. How many taxpayer dollars have been lost on multiple PPL first floor restaurant ventures, only city hall knows for sure.

Anonymous said...

Policies and projects born and schemed behind closed doors in secret affecting the public.
Corruption, pay to play?
There is some history.
A rose by any other name....

Anonymous said...

Now wait just a minute here!

I specifically remember Chairman Pawlowski gave a great, big speech and promised me JOHNNY MANANA's was going to be a "cornerstone".

Since I am not a well-connected Elitist, can some one please tell me what is going on here?

CONFUSED CITIZEN,
PEOPLE's DEMOCRATIC CITY of ALLENTOWN

Monkey Momma said...

I have no problem with the disclaimer, MM. Sorry - I wasn't trying to provoke you. I do understand your point of view, and I appreciate the opportunity to voice mine.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a real estate expert. Someone please tell me if I am imagining this...

Everywhere I go and in particular in the three inner cities, I see signs touting the availablility of commercial properties. Some signs are permanently in place in the downtowns. This would seem to indicate that there are already too many offices and not enough tenants.

Am I correct? Is it therefore a good idea to create additional commenercial office space in a downtown like Allentown?


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