today's Morning Call we learn that "under Allentown's arena block master development agreement, if City Center determines a hotel is not feasible, it could build apartments or offices instead." That is news to me, and as a blogging naysayer I'm more informed than most. All state taxes in the 130 acre NIZ will be going to pay for the arena complex. Reilly will own from the second floor up on two portions of the complex, one on Hamilton Street, the other on 7th Street. Lehigh Valley Hospital will the the tenant on the Hamilton portion, while the 7th Street side may well now be apartments instead of a hotel. Reilly is also building apartments on the other side of 7th Street, at the Linden Street corner. Although I have no background in office development, I do know the apartment market. No upscale apartment development in center-city has ever met it's target demographic without substantial subsidy, and then only with limited units. There are not enough Yuppies in Allentown to occupy the current supply of loft apartments, much less without Reilly's new apartments. Perhaps he can use his influence with Lehigh Valley Hospital for a clandestine Yuppie cloning laboratory.
Reprinted from January 2013. Since the Morning Call has taken upon itself to promote the NIZ, as a public health service, this blog will conduct reality testing.