The State House will amend the NIZ legislation to address the complaints in the lawsuits, and arena construction will resume. Although there may be a few hockey fans gladdened by this news, I have yet to met anyone who believes that the project will Transform Allentown. I have yet to meet anyone who believes that fans will remain in town after the games, to patronize the local establishments. Justin Simmons, boy representative from the 131st District, summed up the current thinking,"You can't have a hole in the middle of Allentown." If Justin knew more Allentown and it's history, he might well conclude that a hole is better for the town than the arena. In conjunction with the arena, J.B. Reilly is building a hotel. This new hotel will render the older hotel at 9th and Hamilton Streets into flophouse status. Over the years, one administration after another, had kept that place viable with financial assistance. Although Mayor Heydt had torn down Hess Brothers, and likewise created a hole for a hockey arena, eventually, Liberty Trust built the Plaza for PPL. Pawlowski's expensive hole has some potential of attracting viable users, while the arena condemns Allentown to failure. Currently, we have the south side of Allentown virtually isolated because this administration allowed the 15th Street Bridge to rust away. We have a swimming pool closed because this Administration wouldn't spend $160,000 on repairs. We have a dirty, crime ridden city which will now be preoccupied with propping up a quarter billion $dollar hockey arena for the next 30 years. I'll take the hole any-day.
current hotel and future flophouse at 9th and Hamilton Street