Mar 17, 2013

The Transformation of 7th Street

Peter Lewnes is managing to transform 7th Street for about $1 million, while Mayor Pawlowski will spend about $220 million for his transformation. At the end of the projects, 7th Street will be much more successful, in both the number of people attracted, and the total dollars those people spend. To be blunt, which is too easy for me, I think 7th Street would have as many new stores and shoppers without Lewnes' efforts. I think that the Hispanic business district was a natural progression of Allentown's demographic changes. However, considering it's the nature of government to meddle, Lewnes has given us an unusually tremendous return on our investment. He has attractively restored dozens of buildings, created appealing signs, and succeeded in significantly upgrading Allentown's gateway. Yesterday, I visited an independent pharmacy on the 500 Block, located in the former Coleman Electric building. Although not yet enhanced by Lewnes' artistic palette, the pharmacist had four assistants and a delivery driver. Another success on 7th Street.

Today's Morning Call has a 5,000 word feature on 7th Street.  Above is my article, from June 2012, in 162 words that will actually be read.

UPDATE:  Upon reevaluation, the feature story by Emily Opilo  provides background material that I mistakenly take for granted.  I have probably been on 7th Street at least once a week for my entire adult life.  Years ago, mostly every day.

Previous Posts on Subject:  The Main Street Program, October 2009
Allentown's Business Barrio, January 2010

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only way I would walk down 7th St would be with a concealed carry 9mm.

Anonymous said...

We will only see if the pppp/ the king and his court jesters efforts will pay off for allentowns public¿ As for 7th it is a slammin pay off to the public already because this is a true investment into allentowns future for allentown highest population¿
My thoughts are on the tragady in Toms building in the 500blk¿

REDD

Anonymous said...

At least the morning call is stupid enough to allow the newsfeed scroller to give up to the minute updates on the City Without Limits. Not only is 7th street better than ever, but a porn shop was held up and a shooting on Chew. Granted not 5000 word fluff pieces about the smut shop and shooting.

Thank God I do not pay for that rag anymore! (Or advertise)

Mickey Grollman said...

MM,

Is that pharmacy still there thriving and operating today? I would also like to make a suggestion. I think that area of 7th Street needs another Willy Joe's or a Yocco's. Down by the circle, that greasy spoon closed shop a few months ago. I would rather support a local shop or a mom + pop little diner/hot dog stand rather than a commercial/nation chain store.

Ron Beitler said...

I read this post and thought of Allentown the other day. Relevant to the contrast of organic vs. the "magic bullet project"

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2013/3/13/lets-end-entertainment-districts.html

michael molovinsky said...

mickey at 8:19, 7th st has many independent eateries, as mentioned in the morning call article. liberty lunch, at 7th and liberty, actually dates back as early as the original yocco's, one half block east.