Feb 5, 2015

Allentown's New Order

Back in the day, downtown Allentown was invigorated by three department stores, several five and dimes, six movie theaters and countless stores. All these buildings and businesses were owned by different people. There were so many players that these merchants had their own center-city club. Three of the biggest owners merged together and operated Park & Shop.

Allentown is having a rebirth, but not in the historical mercantile  pattern pictured above. Yesterday, the NIZ Authority approved another taxpayer approved loan, again with no deliberation. The beneficiary is, as always, J.B. Reilly, this time to renovate small properties between his large projects. With no due diligence by the Authority so charged, and no scrutiny by the press, only this blog speaks for the underwriting taxpayer.


Anonymous said...

I know some alot of my posts sound billigerent and outlandish to the administration?

In your articles you fail to mention the night life of downtown of the past? Four lanes of gas guzzling muscel cars cruising the circut and most of allentown youth was epicentrilized there on a friday and saterday night? Youth would gather just to come see the car show? There was some trouble but nothing compairiable to wht is now and this with the entire public servant employees being used for event nights?

This means the rest of the city has to be put on hold and neglected for much needed services? I am sure the response time is lacking to say the least?

Like you I am praying that with all this cost to the populus will pay off some way to the other parts of the city that have been neglected do to political thugonomics?

patent pending

Anonymous said...

I attended an early evening business meeting this last Tuesday, at the Allentown Brew Works....Center City was "dead" except for those of attending our event...At least from what I could see...These good people who own the Brew Works were such gracious hosts, and are struggling to keep up with our Center Square debacle.
It saddens me to see our once vibrant downtown heading this way at tax payers expense.
"The Old Allentown Curmudgeon" (PJF)

Anonymous said...

The NIZ is a feudal system and the lords of the NIZ bestow their grace on whom they please. We now know that all development in the NIZ will come through Riley and friends. They have create a single point of failure. Why would anyone start a business in Allentown, pay a premium rate, and not receive a subsidy just because they happen to be outside of the NIZ, or, if within the NIZ, outside of the NIZ lords' grace?

-Steven Ramos

Anonymous said...


I believe that is the issue. People are thinking the ONLY place to do business and thrive is between those 4 - 5 blocks of the NIZ which is a fallacy. People have to realize there has always been more to A-town that the PPL Arena and there was culture, nightlife, and events taking place long before JB RIley and the NIZ. Unfortunately, it seems none of that matters and nothing is being cultivated. I am really hoping everything works out. New buildings, new schools, press conferences, positive TV news stories, and positive publication articles does not a thriving city make....

Alfonso Todd

Chris Casey said...

I don't understand how they can justify not helping the owner of the Americus. He should seek legal action to make them explain their reasoning as to why he is unworthy. I am all for doing something with the downtown, but the Americus situation smacks of favoritism, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.