Jul 12, 2008

It All Depends

While the sheriffs were starting to round up the corrupt in Harrisburg, Rendell was hiding out in Allentown, having a press conference with Pawlowski. They were unveiling a new Keystone Opportunity Zone act, which extends and expands the current version. The KOZ for politicians is the gift that keeps on giving; unlimited press conferences about development and contributions from the few chosen developers. For the taxpayer, it's really a leech. While the chosen pay no taxes, it creates an unfair playing field and hardship for the real investors, the ones who pay taxes. The new version of the KOZ apparently has less accountability than ever. In addition to the location, our executives can now openly choose and pick which developers get the golden ring. Pawlowski said "It depends on the plan and on the developer." The Neuweiler Brewery can be included, considering Pawlowski had the current owner jailed, I doubt he'll make the KOZ grade. The photo shows "for lease signs" from two hapless owners competing for tenants in downtown Allentown, competing against new buildings which are tax abated under KOZ.


Anonymous said...

Ed Pawlowski was directly involved in moving PPL Energy Plus from the corporate tower to the 8 story glass and steel building that was built on the site so unstable that it couldn't hold a single story hockey arena. PPL Energy Plus is not a public utility, it is just like Enron - it was involved with Enron during Enron's collapse and PPL Energy Plus was found guilty of manipulating prices in the Atlantic cartel that it controls. Ed Pawlowski helped PPL to a savings likely in excess of $500 million dollars and got little for the citizens in return. Just watch how fast PPL Energy Plus leaves this place if they are faced with paying even a fraction of their fair share.

The KOZ has created a tremendously unlevel playing field. Allentown's so-called "Economic Development Corporation" has been one of the biggest beneficiaries and one of the private sectors biggest competitors. The current director was surprised to learn that AEDC actually competed with the private sector!

Perhaps one of the earliest interesting facts regarding Allentown's KOZ's is that while Ed Pawlowski was running ABC, his property was included in the first KOZ!

Anonymous said...

What were the plans for the brewery before the owner got jailed? What did he do? I

Mrs. Dottie said...

MM, I read the article in TMC about this, and they only mentioned the benefits to the community, like job creation. But if a newly built KOZ office building sits mostly vacant for two years then how is that helping to create jobs? What worries me is this quote from the mayor:

'' Pawlowski said.''If it's a five-star hotel, then yes, we would consider it, but if it's something else, like apartments, then I don't know.''

Well I guess it depends on what kind of apts. since he approved upscale loft apts. It sounds to me like he is saying only higher end businesses will be approved.

I think the KOZ should provide the seniors with a new drug store to replace the Rite-Aid.

How is everyone really benefiting from this?

Anonymous said...

The Hamilton Business Center guy can't get it right, can he?

Doesn't he know that it is illegal to ride bicycles on the sidewalk on Hamilton?

Geesh, every move this guy makes causes me to think less and less of him.

michael molovinsky said...

dear anon 8:22, it may surprise you to know that the Hamiton Business Center is at 11th and Hamilton St., and is not the building at 645 Hamilton for which your defending Pawlowski about. as a matter of fact, Pawlowski had his headquarters at the Hamilton Business Center, do you now think less of Pawlowski?

Anonymous said...

There is an abundance of clueless landlords in Allentown.

Legal or not, I highly doubt this is an effective marking technique.

michael molovinsky said...

what's clueless is the leadership. although the current KOZ properties, such as ppl plaza and butz have failed to achieve a respectful level of occupancy, pawlowski is now campaigning for more subsidized projects, clearly a political decision, at the expense of the long term real estate interest of the overall city.

Anonymous said...

The 85% occupancy rate of the PPL Plaza is certainly respectable.

The Butz 35-40% could be improved. But this is the same rate as many suburban office buildings in the Valley. Look at Penn Corporate Center on 33. Is that mayor P's fault?

michael molovinsky said...

the plaza was boosted by city money to johnny manana, practically blackmail, to open up. butz is boosted by the visitors center and the chamber of commerce, neither of which would be there but to patronize that project. yes, the market is very soft, in both residential and commercial, all the more reason to give the taxpayer a break and stop subsidizing and KOZ-ing.

Anonymous said...

The only tenants left at 645 Hamilton is Gerry's and Pretzeltown. Everyone else has moved out. Gerry, himself, is now unsure what the landlord plans to do and I don't blame him. The owner can't keep power on for a whole building for just 1-2 tenants. If the building goes "dark" I hope it doesn't effect the City too much....


(But my next events will be held in Bethlehem and Easton. See you all next summer)