May 5, 2016

NIZ Injuries To Allentown


The NIZ has fostered various injuries on the city and it's citizens.  Reilly's dashed hopes for a mega project, encompassing an entire block, 7th to 8th and Hamilton to Walnut, resulted in the displacement of numerous  businesses and residents.  Furthermore, we lost rich history, such as the Elks Club.  Yesterday afternoon the paper ran it's second story of the day promoting Reilly's much smaller, substituted office condo project. The article is called  Five Things To Know about the new project.  There's actually six, and the sixth is that the paper never stops promoting Reilly's interests. This morning the paper continues with it's third piece on the new building, within two days.  Putting aside this endless cheerleading by The Morning Call,  the NIZ has surely peaked. Although a number of tenants were poached from different locations,  there was no net gain for the region.  A responsible Harrisburg would be analyzing  the consequences inflicted on the area.  However,  responsibility and Harrisburg have never been acquainted.

As I commented yesterday, Talen workers will be isolated down at the river, almost punished, if you  will.  The surrounding 6th Ward certainly doesn't provide much ambience.  Expect our local and state taxes to be expended there, to embellish Jaindl's position. The tearing out of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Old Main tracks through that parcel is another history victim of the NIZ.

photo of former Elks Club on S. 8th St., prepared for demolition, to make way for now cancelled mega-project by J.B. Reilly

6 comments:

Robert Burritsch said...

This is pretty much what I touched on yesterday. I suspect that you're correct in your analysis that the market for commercial tenants has dried up, though Reilly still insists that the plans are on track:

http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/allentown-developer-says-plans-still-on-track-downtown/39381724

In the meantime, an unsightly wasteland sits in the middle of urban utopia. Perhaps he should have secured an anchor tenant before destroying everything? Just a thought, I'm neither a politician or a developer. What do I know.

Dave said...

Unlike Bethlehem, Allentown has little regards for its history. Especially, it seems in the past several decades. History, of course, does not make money like crony capitalism does.

Our current government has this idea that Allentown should look more like Manhattan downtown. It was one man who saved the Americus from the wrecking ball and another glass and steel box like this one, albeit larger.

The Colonial could have been saved as well. But Mark Mendleson is another story for another day.

Dave said...

Other than Jandyl offering Talen free rent for moving down to the ward, I have no idea why Talen would want to move in the first place.

In the world of headaches, moving a business ranks right under having a fire burn it down.

Jamie Kelton said...

Most of the buildings on the south side of Hamilton Street between Hall and 8th streets are pre-1900 buildings that have been in constant use by businesses. But there really isn't a lot of historic buildings downtown any longer.

It's a shame they are going to tear down the one at Sixth and Hamilton. They could build it in that large parking lot at Sixth and Linden.

George Ruth said...

A comment this morning's Morning Call offered to start an office pool on how long it will take for the reporters to be doing PR for Reilly. They will surely make a lot more money. The page one story made no mention of the killing of the major plan for Walnut St. That was supposed to be the crown jewel. They even bragged that it would kill the Allentown tradition of having PPL tower being the tallest in town.

Paul Fiske said...

Jamie 3:53pm,
Thank You for that reminder of our late 18th to early 20th Century buildings being destroyed for so called "progress"....I have not been to Center City Square since they tore everything down and replaced our historical buildings with useless "glitz".
Paul Fiske "The Old Allentown Curmudgeon"