Aug 1, 2012

7th & Hamilton, The Real Story

The Morning Call has a feature story today about the former 1st National Bank, on the northeast corner of 7th and Hamilton. Arena development magnate J.B. Reilly will demolish the building and turn it into Two City Center, which was originally proposed for the parking lot behind the southwest corner; Different corner, same NIZ taxpayer paid loan. Let me present the real history of the building's past. Read about about little people who used their own money, being bullied about, before Pawlowski dreamt of the arena. Part 1, from the archives of molovinsky on allentown.
                                                   below from July 10, 2008

 
A couple years ago the website for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation described 645 Hamilton St. as "a monument to growth."* Today's edition of The Morning Call, reporting on violations from the City of Allentown, describes the building as unsafe.** It's the same building, with the same tenants, in the same condition. Unlike the city inspectors, or the well meaning reporter, I'm there every day for coffee at Jerry's Cafe. Jerry's was not one of the upstart businesses blessed with a grant. He had to pay for everything, and everything had to be inspected inside out. His plans had to be approved, his electric and plumbing had to be approved, his grill and hood system had to be approved. City inspectors in and out of the building during this process included no less than plumbing, electrical and health. Although the recent violation report issued to the building in general, lists extension cords, it fails to note those cords are attached to a movable lighting grid for the Latino Television production studio and are cords by design. Although the city citation reports cites unlicensed businesses, it omits the fact that the lower level was occupied by Sassi which performs drug testing for the Lehigh County, and the City's action recently caused Melendez Reality and Madison Mortgage to vacate. Unfortunately for this current hapless owner, the City was looking for violations. Last month Pawlowski promoted a building across the street which has not been occupied or improved in decades, although there is no running water there, breakfast was served to invited realtors. It's easy to beat the drums against the greedy absentee landlords, and surely the apologists will applaud Pawlowski for enforcing codes, but private money is running from this town. There is no work currently being done on any project on Hamilton Street without a grant. It's good politics, but bad business.
reprinted from July 10, 2008

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

More pipe dreams. The mayor of Allentown appears lost in denial along with his current cadre of developer pals.

What has worked in the last 10 years? I still do not understand what will attract people to Allentown even after Palowski and Riellys Lego city is built.

Allentow is becoming the laughing stock of the rustbelt culture.

ironpigpen said...

So long as they play in a record-smashing Palace of Sport more than twice the cost of the average minor league hockey rink ...

... Chairman Pawlowski's Phantoms will always be derisively known as the American Hockey League's "Assisted Living Team".

At least when Obama runs his mouth saying crap like, "You didn't build that" ...

.... in the case of the hockey house with respect to farm team owned by the poltically-favored Brooks Brothers, our historic and transformative President will FINALLY be telling the truth

(for once?)

ROLF OELER
www.goironpigs.com

Anonymous said...

I remember this like it was yesterday.. The NYC partners bought the building and met with the Mayor, joined the Chamber, etc but would not kowtow to the politics, etc so everything was done to make it hard for them which, in turn, made it hard for us, the tenants...

Alfonso Todd

www.alfonsotodd.com

Anonymous said...

They have done this to homeowners too. Driving them out so there slumlordian freinds could get federal housing dollars for years. The king has taken it to a Hole other level that there is now federal eyes upon this practice.