Apr 15, 2009

Blame The Landlord

The Morning Call leads off the local section today with the story of the gym which snuck out in the middle of the night. Understandably, Joyce Marin, Community Development Director of Allentown, was a little embarrassed because she inadvertently helped promote the scam. Unfortunately, she reverted to one of Allentown's biggest excuses, blaming the landlord. The reporters write, "Marin added that the person (from Daro's) also said they closed the business due to problems with building's landlord." Joyce, please consider the following facts; The gym was collecting membership fee's the day before they moved. Supposedly this operator (Daro) has a reputation not fulfilling customer expectations. The previous operator Xertek (now called Coliseum at 15th and Green Sts) didn't have problems with the landlord for over nine years, and moved because of issues with the City Parking Authority. Flakey tenants come and go, but you're going to have to work with that landlord, who made a sizable investment, for years. By the way, supposedly the Brew Works hasn't been able to open at the golf course because of code violations ignored for a decade by their landlord, The City of Allentown.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like the scum continues at the Hotel Traylor, too. They decimated the landscape and have unruly tenants!

michael molovinsky said...

i have reason to believe the property will do nothing but improve. although i'm not a fan of some current Parking Authority tactics, the new owner partnered with them to monitor his parking lots. i see this a move to cooperate with the city

Anonymous said...

They cut down every single gorgeous old tree on the property and a woman was threatened with a gun there last night, per morning call.

michael molovinsky said...

for this property to less problematic, it must transition from a rooming house to an apartment building. this transition was hampered last year by the city through zoning, which insisted only so many units could be rented on a long term basis. the tree's between the sidewalk and street require permission from the city, shade tree commission, to be cut down.

dick nepon said...

"...Brew Works hasn't been able to open at the golf course because of code violations ignored for a decade by their landlord, The City of Allentown."

I pointed that out on one blog already. How could the City have let that happen while pursuing tax payers for code violations? Are there inspection logs for the building at the golf course? Did it get preferential treatment? Many questions here.

Why did we let a contract that we (the city) couldn't uphold? Do we now have liability to Brew Works?

Are other city owned structures also out of compliance? What's the plan? Who has the answers?

Anonymous said...

A big problem I see with vacant stores on Hamilton street is that the rents are so high at most of the buildings. A lot of places are owned by people from out of the valley or the state and they think they can collect high rent here like they would where their from, but its just not possible. This city is not the commerc magnet people would like it to be and with high rent the newcomers and young people are never going to be able to open a buisness and its going to stay empty. More cops, lower rents and more lax city regs would get things going.

Anonymous said...

I believe the BOOM that that the City administration kept promising, which started with P&P Mills Lofts, Johnny Manana's, and Allentown BrewWorks has yet to be realized. So much has happened within the last year it seems almost impossible to tell if we are coming or going. I stay positive about Allentown, but until the City uses its resources i.e. already existing businesses, all community inhabitants, and the homegrown creativity, ingenuity and gumption that DOES exist in the Urban community, then we will continue to spin our wheels and go nowhere. The ANSWER is HERE but the City can't see the forest through the trees.

Alfonso Todd

Monkey Momma said...

Alfonso -
Dude, I've read a bunch of your comments, and I've never seen you bummed like this. So...that's alarming to me. I really worry about Allentown and its current path.

Honestly, the solution must include a decrease in crime (obviously) and an increase in the number of dollars the current taxpayers generate. In other words, we need more workers and contributors and less recipients of aid. I'm not trying to point fingers, but the city's assistance to others has become unmanageable. There's no way to run a city that has to provide more than the residents earn.

Hamilton isn't totally dead, though. Compared to 10 years ago, there's a LOT more business downtown. It's true. The entire national economy appears to have lost a decade of growth - I guess Allentown will have to suffer the same. God help us all.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am bummed because I moved here 7 years ago from Miami and truly believed there was hope here. I KNOW this City can do better but it seems to be its' own worst enemy. It's like a punchline and it's far from being funny because it seems like the joke is really on us. I am attempting to hold on and create several different events this year and keep the belief that others will move forward and BELIEVE there is something here and it is worth fighting for. I have seen so many creative and idealistic people, like myself, move away to metropolitans like Atlanta, NYC, and Philly over the past couple of years and after the events that have recently occurred, it makes me ask myself, WHY DO I STAY ? So, this is WHY I am bummed. BUT I still see a future in A-town, and where others see emptiness I still see opportunity. I am just hoping the vision I see can be shared and realized. A vision is nothing but an idea that is being made into reality. I did this with Project R.E.A.L., UPWARD BOUND, ALLENTOWN, The Lifestyles of the G.S.S., and many more events that you may have never heard of. THIS is where I guess the rubber hits the road and I have to be strong enough to do as I tell others, "KEEP IT MOVIN!"

Alfonso Todd

Anonymous said...

Alfonso.

So long as the city is governed by inept and corrupt leaders it will go nowhere.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

scott, by virtue of signing your name, practically anything you submit would be printed here, but, because your contributions to the quality of life in westpark and allentown are both legendary and exemplary, your comments are most welcome here. that said, i can agree with your description of inept, but not corrupt. although i will readily criticize decisions which hamper the community in any way, i have no knowledge or expertise to address legalities.

Anonymous said...

"So long as the city is governed by inept and corrupt leaders it will go nowhere. Scott Armstrong"

Michael, I don't know what you call lying to the public (bond money, obviously false budgets, etc), signing knowingly false contribution reports.
Michael, I don't know what you call it but certainly not being honest and truthful.
Bob

michael molovinsky said...

bob, i can agree that misrepresentations are made and accepted by officials, including city council, i have cited several myself within this blog, but, i shy away from accusations of pay to play and corruption. corruption to me connotes government for private profit, and i have no personal knowledge of such activity. i make this distinction not as some protection from libel, but morally, as not bearing false witness.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I think it is clear that the government in Allentown works very well for a select few (contributors). This is the new game in Allentown and explains Ed’s focus on Hamilton Street.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Alfonso,

It is possible to be the change you want to see but it is also possible that all of your good works and positive intentions could be quickly undermined by not so well intentioned local elected officials.
The world is what it is and several things are clear, one is that the only constant in life is change and the other is that positive thinking is just that and nothing more.
As for Allentown the old adage, “once I gave up hope I was happy” seems to apply. Am I “happy” about this? No, but I have come to understand that my “feelings” have no effect on anything other than my own mood.

Scott Armstrong
P.S. Mike Thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I do believe it is possible to be corrupt and within the law.
Personally I think this definition from the Oxford dictionary is appropriate;having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

scott, i think there are degree's, i think there can be misrepresentations, but not corruption. for instance, last year i published a documented list of property owners opposed to the west park historic district in 2000. (sorry to use this old issue, but it makes my point.) the list contained a majority of owners. the city at that time chose to ignore that list and certified to the state historical society that a majority of the owners were in agreement. the administration thought they were doing the best thing for the city. is that corruption? i think not. the parking authority and the chamber of commerce testified to city council that the majority of merchants were in favor of the parking meter increase, when in fact they were not even surveyed before i did it. was that corruption? i may be naive, but i do not believe pawlowski is corrupt in that he puts money in his pocket. your definition of personal gain is too vague, surely he could conduct himself differently and avoid doubts, but i think it's unfair to label someone corrupt without specific allegations of personal financial ill-gotten gain.

The REAL Scoop said...

There are no code violations at the golf course. The only problem was the flooring in the kitchen and bar area. The former owner was promised for four straight years that the city would retile the floor. All of a sudden, here comes the new tile floor.
This is only a smokescreen to cover up the fact that ABW didn't start on their supposed 200K in improvements and aren't ready to open.
I wonder if Eddie is going to cut the ribbon on this "new vision for Allentown"?

By the way, the city promised to repaint the interior for at least three years, when the owner finally did it himself, the city union filed a grievance and somebody got paid for work they didn't do.

Everybody knows what went down in this case. Eddie always takes care of his buddies.

Not Exactly Right said...

Scoop, you are right about the restaurant area, but the men's bathroom had no handicapped access for at least ten years. Conveniently overlooked by our Code Police for many years.
We are going to need handicap access when all those weddings start booking their special days at
a municipal golf course.

ABW is going to have to hide about 175K in cash in the walls to cover their ridiculous claim to be spending 200K in improvements.
Great job ED.

Chris Casey said...

This morning the Mcall has the mayor outing another Slumlord.
that's nice. So this guy has a property on Page street that hasn't been occupied since 1986 because of issues?

so kick me for asking this, but what took the city so long?

That is neglect from several administrations, not just Ed's.

michael molovinsky said...

chris, some of the worse properties in the city have been owned by the city for many, many years. take a look at the houses across from verizon, on linden, off 7th. the city should have sold these properties and returned them to the tax rolls many years ago. i won't defend this miller guy, but if the properties are vacant, your not a landlord, you're a distressed property owner; the city owns (and the redevelopment authority) dozens and dozens of properties, in worse shape, much longer. it is no consolation to the neighbors if it's a private owner or the city. at least the private owner pays taxes, or eventually it's sold by sheriff sale.

Anonymous said...

Actually, If you happen to pass by you will notice the properties on Linden you speak of are being torn down.