Sep 1, 2015

Informercial At The Morning Call

The advertisement for the Strata Flats apartments was on Sunday's front page, New Luxury Strata Flats Filling Up Fast.  That's now you merchandize apartments in a new complex,  get yours quick, before it's too late.  There was just one problem, it wasn't an advertisement, it was article, presented as news.  Being familiar with the rental dynamics of Allentown, I did my own research. After waiting 30 minutes outside the entrance to the Strata above Shula's, and being careful not to hum Barbara Ann, finally a person came  out.  He was a genuine Millennial.  New to area, he moved in three weeks ago. Although happy with the apartment, he has hardly seen nobody else in the building, although the leasing agent told me that it was filling up fast.   He was surprised that they pro-rated August's rent, and charged him no security deposit or last month's rent.  Furthermore,  although new construction, they allowed his dog.  Nothing about his experience indicates that the apartments are renting very well, much less almost rented up. The article even said that demand is so high, that J.B. Reilly might have to fast track his other planned apartment buildings.  Observing the outside balcony's facing 7th Street, charming view indeed, it appears that several of the porches have been staged.  Staging is when the owner puts  in furniture to make it look attractive, or in this case, occupied. I fully understand Reilly hyping the apartments as renting like hot-cakes, but for the Morning Call to participate in the ruse, is sad indeed. But,  I suppose that's why people are clicking here for the some honestly, a commodity in short supply in Allentown.

ADDENDUM: The same reporter who wrote the Strata story, Scott Kraus, today has a story on the business page; Two Center City Earns Energy Star Rating. In this latest puff piece, he quotes Reilly's manager, "...City Center's tenants can enjoy lower monthly energy costs." Kraus should decide if he wants to be a reporter or a rental agent, right now he appears to be a shill.

19 comments:

DreamingOfJustice said...

Nothing says "homey atmosphere" like shiny, un-used chairs and tables carefully placed for effect. I think the views on to 7th street will be quite amusing, when the arena is packing in those shows.

By the way, I have seen newspapers used for lots of things other than news..pads for puppy-dog accidents, fireplace-lighters, packing material for dishes..so, shilling for the NIZ fits right in.

Anonymous said...

MM,
like your previous post of deletion of one of the unposted waterwar shit slingin after the many infomercials force feed to the public, the moronic gag fits right in there as paper products strewn through the Lehigh Parkway after a storm¿!($ That public administrational advertismental product has become unreddable as it too is a circus sideshow act and should have a carney cart at The Great Allentown Hospital Circus too¿!($

Mike it is the opening night for this freekshow and will you be reporting on the administration freeks and geeks on the back midway of years past presently epicentralized¿!($

redd
patent pending

Anonymous said...

I was also surprised to read the units are moving fast and, according to one comment, 85% leased. There was no evidence of that, although I believe the article stated they don't really open until October.

From the images, I have to say I would not be interested in leasing there. The rooms seemed a bit small, also the balconies. I saw no finishes, nor appliances, of above average quality. Minimal common spaces accoutrements, etc. Most importantly, no outdoor pool. Whatever they claim it cost to build that place would make a good discussion.

Those apartments will have most appeal for those in their early twenties, low wage office types. Those who don't want to maintain a car, and can live without lounging by the pool. I don't think a pool is planned, is it? A young renter can get a pool elsewhere for the same level of monthly rent, maybe even tennis courts and a walking trail.

It certainly could end up nearly filled, but at this point, I can't imagine the interest is all that high.

Fred Windish

michael molovinsky said...

fred@8:11, to protect the identity and privacy of the person i interviewed, i will not post details. but he's from out of town, with no familiarity of the area, and alternatives available. for success, they will have to clone him, many times over.

Jamie Kelton said...

So much ado over nothing. Small, bland places to live for those who want to live downtown. Clearly designed for single and young married people. Now, other than going out to eat, and going out to eat, and going out to eat, what type of nightlife is in Downtown Allentown? Ok now the hockey team will start up in a few weeks, and there is something to eat there, but there is nothing else to do there except eat, spend money and drink.

There are no cinemas, no plays, nothing like a Dave & Busters or any kind of entertainment other than eating. I'm NOT going to go jogging in that part of town for exercise either. No comedy clubs, nothing really to do there.

Where is the pool? The tennis courts? Just a place to sit in the middle of the complex and digest your food talking to your neighbors about another restraunt?

No wonder people here are so fat.

Anonymous said...

The convenience of shopping at the 7-Eleven at 7th and Linden can't be denied

Anonymous said...

Regarding the staging on the porches, if Reilly really wants to capture the essence of the city he should visit local used furniture stores and buy up some old sofas.

This is Allentown after all.

Anonymous said...

Jamie @ 9:20am -

I actually would recommend jogging in that part of town.

Depending on what time of day you go, and what type of people are around, you might log some of your fastest times ever.

Anonymous said...

After reading through the comments on the Facebook version of the article, I happened to agree with a comment regarding the term "luxury" apartments. I was immediately attacked by what, to me, appeared to be a spokesperson/resident of the building. I say this because this gentleman felt the need to comment on every single negative post giving his interpretation of how wonderful they are. Anyhow, 30some comments later on the thread, it was mutually agreed that they are nice but nothing extra special. 15 minutes later, the entire thread was deleted. I found it interesting, as it was a very respectful/insightful debate, (certainly nothing offensive). I contacted the original poster and asked if he had removed his comment. He said no and proceeded to let me know he received a notification that it was flagged. Just thought this seemed like an appropriate place to tell this story.

Jamie Kelton said...

Maybe I shouldn't have sounded so negative earlier about nothing to do in the new downtown except eat and drink. There are lots of new restaurants and places to go bar hopping. But that isn't what makes a vibrant city. I mean Allentown had plenty of bars and restaurants before they spent all that money downtown.

What the downtown needs, and I'm sure Mr. Reilly agrees, is some shopping. You know, like The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley. I like how that was developed. There are all kinds of stores in a downtown-like atmosphere you can walk and go to along the sidewalks there.

That's what Allentown used to be like.

If they can build it in some old farm fields in Saucon Valley, why can't they do the same thing with the downtown in Allentown? Then there would at least be some things that people would want to go to and shop at. Maybe even provide city bus service back to Hamilton Street. I read somewhere that when they planned the Hamilton Mall, there were little mini-buses that they wanted to run up and down Hamilton Street and the traffic would be blocked off. That's actually a good idea, as I know in New York they've done that and made a pedestrian walking mall.

I hope Nr. Reilly reads this, and if he wants to make a new downtown, diversifying it with things to do other than eat would draw people there and maybe achieve what he wants to do.

Anonymous said...

Comrade Molovinsky,

Compared to where I come from, the Strata is, without a doubt, offering luxury apartments.

Forward to progress!

Respectfully,

Col. Viktor Tikhonov
Soviet Red Army (ret)

AuH20 said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Regarding the staging on the porches, if Reilly really wants to capture the essence of the city he should visit local used furniture stores and buy up some old sofas.
This is Allentown after all.
September 1, 2015 at 11:37 AM


...or offer to buy some of the lovely tufted sofas sitting on hundreds of Allentown porches. Great for nesting rats. I miss Emma!

Anonymous said...

Jamie, the problem with 'shopping' in the downtown is that what the know-it-all developers and politicos think the sainted Millenials want is cutsie shops al a Downtown Bethlehem. Yet, those stores only exist because of the tourism they enjoy.If you talk to those who live in Bethlehem you'll find they only visit those shops during Christmas and (to some extent) Musikfest. If one lived near Broad and Main in the Christmas City on would be bored after one week of 'shopping' there.

And how long before the Strata folks get bored with the few restaurants down there?

One last thing worth considering: while $1,200 a month sounds like pricey rents to some, that is easily affordable by two folks working at Walmart. Please, I do not mean to denigrate Walmart works as all work is valuable and important. But to position those apartments as some 'high end' places worthy of the rich and famous is a bit overblown.

Anonymous said...

Friend of mine is moving in to the top level ones in October. He went on a tour, and while noted that apartments were small, he was really impressed with the building and the amenities/services offered.

I'll let you know his thoughts after he's moved in. Just wanted to give a positive viewpoint--which is rare around here.

DreamingOfJustice said...

Anonymous said...
The convenience of shopping at the 7-Eleven at 7th and Linden can't be denied

September 1, 2015 at 10:18 AM

_ In Baltimore, we can sit on our marble steps after we eat and watch the armed robberies plus the police chases. We call it "Dinner and a Show".

michael molovinsky said...

@9:51, you're probably the same antagonist on o'hare's strata post at 9:11, claiming that all the 2 bedrooms apartments are already rented. cyberstalkers do not tenants make.

Anonymous said...

Very strange how you classify someone with a positive viewpoint as being an "antagonist" or "cyber-stalker"...???

Doesn't fit into your "the sky is falling in Allentown" narrative, I know...

michael molovinsky said...

@6:14, there is an antagonist, who spends his entire days placing contrary comments on the blogs and newspapers, of course anonymously. it has nothing to do with being positive or negative, but truthful. did this person(s) and his wife really look for a two bedroom apartment at the strata? does he really have a friend moving in? one consequence of posting anonymously, is that your identity can be confused with somebody else.

Chris said...

there's nothing wrong with jogging near strata, but I agree that a theater or two would add some value. Art museum, Baum, Symphony Hall are all right there already.