Apr 20, 2012

Pawlowski's Expensive Hole

Allentown eventually had success with former mayor Heydt's hole at the Hess's site, the PPL Plaza was built. Although Pawlowski's hole is much bigger, and has cost much more, eventually private developers would build separate buildings for real tenants. With home hockey games only 40 nights a year, and the Sands already having booked first rate acts as a draw to their casino, the arena is doomed to failure. The hotel plan is a moronic pipe dream. Who will want to deal with 7th and Hamilton for a medical appointment at the proposed sports medicine center? After 5 years of failure, the Arena Authority will hire a new manager. In 10 more years, Allentown will tear it down. I prefer leaving an expensive hole.

reproduced from an update on a previous post


Anonymous said...

I am planning lunch across the street from the big hole today. I wonder if construction continues?! Pending litigation delayed the issuance of bonds...what will happen next?

At this point, I would rather have a gaping hole in the ground rather than an arena and surrounding scheme that is destined to fail.

Anonymous said...

I like big holes.
What happened to the buyer of the Americus?
Was he not supposed to get the benefit of all this new building in the city?
Who will stay there now with a big new hotel on the way?
Seems like a shakey endeavor to deal with TPTB in Allentown.

michael molovinsky said...

i think it's clear that browne and pawlowski will at the least have to completely forego the EIT scheme. they might well also have to establish a prohibition from tenants being lured from elsewhere in the lehigh valley. pawlowski and reilly will certainly attempt to placate the opposition and lawsuit. all of this is the consequence of no previous public discussion on the proposal.

michael molovinsky said...

i think the owner of the americus had some hopes from the arena project, however, since reilly announced his own hotel, and then a proposed second new hotel, the prospects for the americus are nil.

Anonymous said...


Oh what a tangled web we weave

When at first we practice to deceive

To lie, cheat and steal

Is very much routine for a Democrat deal

Find a RINO or two who are co-opted and willing

Then sit back and make the killing


(inspired by the Progressrive Liberal poets pushing for SOLYNDRA and all the other Green Energy Scams - because THEY are just so much more Elite and inifinitely smarter than YOU)

Anonymous said...

The owner of the Americus asked not to be included in the NIZ so it could remain a KOZ.

This suggests the current owner has next to no cash or did not fully understand how powerful the NIZ is as a development tool.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:03, he's not in the small circle that received NIZ project approval. please recall that reilly was approved for $20million pocket money to purchase up adjoining properties before any guidelines were established or anything else knew of this option. only he and butz so far are in the circle, quite small indeed.

doug_b said...

Here's how it goes: In Minneapolis we have the Target Center - for the MN Timber Wolves basketball team.

The rest of the story:

Target Center was built privately for $104 million, opening in 1990. Original owners Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner ran into trouble, and the city paid $80.1 million for the arena in 1995. The debt on Target Center is $53.45 million and is scheduled to be paid off in 2025.

Every year the state of MN gives Mpls $5 million to payoff this white elephant.

Finally: The new proposal for a stadium on the Metrodome site calls for the city to kick in $150 million for construction, as well as $7.5 million a year toward operating expenses and capital costs.

It remains unknown if the stadium proposal can surmount opposition in both the Legislature and the City Council. Rybak is pitching the plan by noting that it does not rely on any new taxes.

Art Rolnick, a senior fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, said he would assume that the city can handle the debt, but he isn’t sold on the deal.

“Money is money. The question public officials have to ask is: Are we investing it well?” Rolnick said. “This is public money. They’re investing it mostly in entertainment. That’s not what makes for good cities.”

Rolnick argues that investing in education and the city’s workforce show better returns on investment.

“When the mayor says it’s a good deal, I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Rolnick said of the stadium proposal.

Anonymous said...

"The Americus owner asked ..."

I always find Anonymous sources to be the most credible.


Anonymous said...

Where is the $20 mil pocket money coming from?

michael molovinsky said...

@1:16, that money was loaned from a local bank through the ACIDA to reilly. it was supposed to be repaid to the bank from the bonds issued by the arena authority. those bonds are now in limbo because of the lawsuit(s)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quick answer, MM. What local bank is approving these loans?

michael molovinsky said...


Anonymous said...

The NIZ map was drawn long before the $20 million loan. The Americus could have been included but then the property owner would be liable for taxes immediately.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:06, although it's true that the state insisted that KOZ's be removed, before NIZ be applied, that doesn't mean that a particular property owner was offered a NIZ loan. that's a small circle, so far consisting of only two individuals. prior to reilly receiving the $20million, nobody knew that the funding was being given to private developers. I know this because I attended a private meeting with the city, and that option was never mentioned. in the future, your revisionist myths will be deleted; this blog specializes in honest discussions.