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.