Dec 29, 2014

City Center Monopoly Money

City Center is the name of J.B. Reilly's center city real estate company, he owns most of the new buildings in the taxpayer funded arena district. I have been comparing it to a movie set or an amusement park, where Reilly keeps priming the pump, hoping that Frankenstein City comes alive on it's own. Near the end of a recent  Morning Call article on a new gift card program, we learn that indeed the restaurants are being peppered with gift card bearing customers, donated by Reilly, and distributed to Air Product employees. I do believe that the monster will eventually rise on his own, but how much of our state taxpayer dollars it will take is anybody's guess.

7 comments:

Dreaming of Justice said...

One of the reasons that Groupon has not been successful in raising it's client restaurant traffic is prospective customers are simply using their Groupon ONE time, for a steeply discounted meal. After the discounted meal experience customers have not returned for full price fare. This is a broken business model- it didnt work for Groupon and it wont be enough for Franken City.
Good luck to them all. Without the wealth being spread around by the availability of bonafide full time jobs, there will not be enough business for any restaurant in the arena area.

Theyre going to find this out the hard way, I guess but the thing is, this tactic has been tried and failed by others before.

monkey momma said...

JB Reilly is buying AMP cards to distribute to buddies? Did I read that right? Are those gift cards being purchased using taxpayer dollars?

If not, I can't blame the guy for trying to get people out into the new neighborhood. If you haven't seen it in person, then you don't know that it's actually fun going downtown right now. I don't know if the "fun" will last, but right now, it's a real blast going out for dinner and drinks on Hamilton. If Reilly wants to pay people to do so, and it's out his own pocket, I can this being legit.

Anonymous said...

Can you say, "Johnny Manana's"?

Sure, I knew you could.

FRED ROGERS

Anonymous said...

I read the article, it never said JB purchased the gift cards, only that a local company purchased them for their employees. What JB's tenants do for their employees have nothing to do with JB/CityCenter.

michael molovinsky said...

@7:53, towards the end of the article it states that one company (air products) gave out cards loaded with $500 each, and that city center (reilly) donated $5,000 to implement the program. i have no doubt that he sweetened the card purchase for air products.

Anonymous said...

The cards for air products employees is likely a bribe to soften the extreme displeasure of being forced downtown. Longer commute into congestion, paying to park, higher prices for food and let's not forget the pay cut via the city tax increase. To say they weren't happy is an understatement. A couple shekels tossed their way to salve the pain, I'm sure.

michael molovinsky said...

@4:58, i wouldn't call downtown allentown congestion, and i would think that lunch became easier with more choices. i will make some inquires about how welcome the move was with employees.