Oct 22, 2012

Allentown's New Public Housing

The announcement was for two hundred upscale apartments at 7th and Linden Streets in Allentown. If ever there were two phrases that don't go together, it is upscale and 7th and Linden. The apartments are to attract new residents into downtown, not the existing demographic. The existing demographic would be presumedly priced out, at $1,200 monthly rent. It wasn't that many years ago that The Morning Call prohibited property managers from using words such as luxury and executive in their advertising. We were told then that such adjectives were exclusionary, and promoted discrimination. Reilly, now tells us "This is the next piece in transforming downtown Allentown into a place where people really can live, work and play." I suppose that those who currently live, work and play there aren't really people, at least not the upscale kind. I'm not an opponent of gentrification, or what the young urbanists call mixed income neighborhoods. I know that Reilly could rent two of these units immediately. I know that over the course of a year that he could rent twenty such units, but two hundred? Until this Neighborhood Improvement Zone(NIZ) was created for Allentown's transformation, public housing was  taxpayers subsidizing the tenant, it's now taxpayers subsidizing the landlord.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

7th and Linden? The 7/11, the vacant lot? the grey apartment building
adjacent to restaurant?

Anonymous said...

Mike,

The people who would choose to live in these new apartments are very likely the same people who live in the downtown now. It is a sad reality that most of these people would like to live somewhere else besides the downtown but can't afford to. I have been told the rents charged at these new "luxury" apartments are roughly in line with current downtown residential rents.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Wonder if Alan would be so quiet if these displaced residents at 7th and Linden lived elsewhere. Hmmm.

michael molovinsky said...

@6:32, jennings is setting up a business incubation program for next block of 7th street, and is soliciting funds as we speak. he is relocating the little restaurant, Sabroso's, being evicted by reilly's new apartment and storefront building, pictured in this post. the restaurant owner is actually grateful, because jennings will set her up with a new facility. granted the new restaurant will not be in the upscale transformation block, but rather in the designated hispanic/negro district up the block. she gets a new restaurant, and jennings gets a new program, what could be better?

Anonymous said...

A new restaurant fully equipped with upscale stainless steel cooking facility is worth thousands.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"If ever there were two phrases that don't go together, it is upscale and 7th and Linden."

I envy your ability to be able to say so much in one sentence.

Anonymous said...

Actual news?

I think not.

The only thing that REALLY matters is the fact that the $ 4.2 million dollars in legal and consulting fees required to see the $ 224.0 million dollars worth of (junk?) bonds have been sold.

Shaibu!

VIKTOR TIKHONOV

Anonymous said...

Look at the Phiadelphia Inquirer real estate section. Very expensive condos in the "city center".

Things are changing and it will have to play out. Allentown has been hampered by "whow is me" thinking and concern for how some people will be impacted. Let's at least try.Find ways to mitigate any bad impacts, but don't just accept a downtown filled with dollar stores.

Anonymous said...



Anon, 2:27,

The let’s try it approach to government is fraught with peril. Let’s remember that consequences result when largess is granted to elected officials. Why not just try the police contract? The one that is threatening to bankrupt the city, or giving Julio Guridy another term on council, or selling the water works? You see the greater public good requires a much higher standard.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...


Anon, 2:27,

The let’s try it approach to government is fraught with peril. Let’s remember that consequences result when largess is granted to elected officials. Why not just try the police contract? The one that is threatening to bankrupt the city, or giving Julio Guridy another term on council, or selling the water works? You see the greater public good requires a much higher standard.

Scott Armstrong

October 22, 2012 8:38 PM

The police contract or filing bankruptcy and declaring a fresh start. Now the city according to some reports is in debt for nearly $300M dollars. How long will it take to pay this debt back?

Anonymous said...

Allentown has a fat chance of attracting young proffesionals to the area. Similar to getting ice WATER in hell too!

Anonymous said...

Center City Philly is really a great and cool place in spite of urban realities.

Exactly WHY would I want to live in downtown Allentown? Your joking right?