May 11, 2008

Pawlowski's Magic Hat


Saturday's Morning Call, presented a story* outling a grant program designed "to help people at least give you a second look", according to Mayor Pawlowski. The truth is Pawlowski uses our money as the gift that keeps on giving. Two of the seven are restaurants which have received substantial aid from other city programs. Three are small startups which occupy space which appears to be owned or handled by the same realtor. One recipient, New York Urban, was a successful clothes retailer who opened a second shop. The city claims if the businesses stay open less than five years, they will try to recoup the money through liens; but only one of the seven is not a tenant, so that claim is baseless. Three of the shops have recently had their facade redone in an identical finish. Did we pay to remodel the building with facade grants and then provide tenants with these business grants? Coincidence or shenanigan? Talking of shenanigans, I must mention Pawlowski's peek-a-boo and hide-a-fund system**. One receiver of these new grants is Johnny Manana's. Yes, it's the same place that has been receiving grants since before Pawlowski was mayor. This joke is located in a KOZ and already pays no taxes. It was given a special low cost city sponsored liquor license. It appears this latest grant, $50,000, was virtually blackmail to open up, so our agency leaders could crow about how wonderful are their accomplishments. Another $50,000 went to the Cosmopolitan, not yet built, but named. The owner received the location for one dollar, the previous building was torn down at our expense, and of course he received the customary city discounted liquor license. I could say a few more things,but I will be polite. Some of the small shops, the ones with the redwood fronts, you better visit quickly. When the grant for their rent is up, so will they.
GRANT RECIPENTS
Vickey's Sweet Spot 621 Hamilton St. $11,190
New York Urban 740 Hamilton St. $19,366
Total Office Solutions 915 Hamilton St. $20,000
Wireless & Beyond 965 Hamilton St. $20,000
Ileanette's Beauty Salon 913 Hamilton St. $20,000
Johnny Manana's 835 Hamilton St. $50,000
Cosmopolitan 18 N. Sixth St. $50,000

UPDATE:" Pawlowski said some of the remaining money ($155,000) could be used to promote existing restaurants"

*http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-b1_5grants-r.6390799may10,0,6273080.story

**Allentown Economic and Development Corporation,Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority, Allentown Redevelopment Authority

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Didn't you predict the Brew Works would be closed in a year?

michael molovinsky said...

no, i did not. all the posts are here, check them over. i suppose your point is that you share pawlowski's vision? i do not feel any of the grants were justified, or the salary involved in distributing them. assuming your not a pawlowski employee, i'm glad someone feels there's a return on their tax dollar.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM is making no prediction. He's making an observation.

Mrs. Dottie said...

Do you know if the existing stores and restaurants in the vicinity of House of Chen will get money for improving their facades?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Pawloski favorite, but I assume that we ALL want Allentown to be improved in its' look and atmosphere. I can see your point in regards to the grants and distribution but I believe if there is EVER going to be improvement, it has to start SOMEWHERE AND SOME HOW. So far, the businesses you have named do make Hamilton look alot better and they are VIABLE businesses. If there are any others willing to DO something and not just TALK, CRITICIZE, and COMPLAIN, then I am all ears...

Alfonso TOdd

Anonymous said...

I am certain MM made the Brew Works position in the comments section of another bog.

michael molovinsky said...

alfonso, how viable they are remains to be seen, i'd agree if they started with their own money. we have something in common, we both know jerry (cafe), ask him about how much help he received with his business,(this is his second location)
anon 5;10-9;30, i'll help you out, i once said regardless of how the brew pub does, pawlowski will never let them fail while he is in office.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

You are doing the research the paper refuses to do. Thanks. Those of us who actually live in Allentown understand that faith and happy talk alone will not turn our city around. What is needed is sound management and capable leadership. Sadly that will never come from this administration.


Scott Armstrong

Sarina said...

I was suspicious of all these identical red wood facades going up. Thanks for connecting the dots. I am disappointed at some of the grants being handed out. $ for a second NY Urban location? How about $ for a new business altogether? I accept that grants can be the seed money to get a business on its feet and running. But some businesses, sadly, will not make it even with free cash.
Then there are the businesses that have long existed and could use a small grant (a couple thou?) to make much-needed facade improvements that could help them appear more inviting and stay in business. House of Chen? Tucker's Yarn? Modern Fashions of India? All could use some paint and a sign.
However, on a personal note, I hope Miss Vicky makes it. Her sweets are divine!

Anonymous said...

Did Jerry apply for grants?

Joe Hilliard said...

Great work Mike!

The Brewworks should stay open for a while. With $7 million on taxpayer money provided.

I know, they are "loans".

The dirty little secret is that many of these loans are forgiven. I can't wait to find out.

And many non-government paid for businesses are closing.