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Jan 31, 2013
Allentown's Real Riverfront Story
As readers of The Morning Call are being fed the mayor's version of Transformation at the riverfront, here's the sordid history not revealed elsewhere. In the early 70's, the City and Redevelopment Authority subdivided the Neuweiler property. The actual brewery portion, the front, went to a supposed developer with long time ties to former Mayor Daddona. The rear portion, formerly garages for the Neuweiler trucks, went to a roofer. Under the city's watch, the developer removed windows and exterior walls, braking through to remove the brewing tanks and piping for scrap. All metal, wires and any object of value were crudely ripped out in an orgy of demolition. With a large opening in the back wall smashed out, the basement mysteriously got filled up with roofing debris. Still the building remained iconic, because of it's rich industrial architecture. In 2003, a New Jersey investor bought the building for over $200,000 in the condition shown in the photograph. The building has been in that condition since the late 70's. HIs hope was at some point the City would appreciate the landmark and cooperate in its revival. He must have found the building citations from the Pawlowski administration mind-numbing; Can you imagine being held responsible for carnage committed by a previous owner? Before seizing the property, Pawlowski actually had the hapless new owner jailed when he came to Allentown to discuss the situation. Meanwhile, the roofer was rewarded with an $876,000 buy out. This is how the city reunited the property; Welcome to the Transformation.