Nov 3, 2010

Lowering the Zoning Bar


While attention tonight will be focused on the Mayor's budget proposal, City Council will quietly pass a new zoning law. One of the major changes is the new process for conversion of commercial space into residential. While formally, practically every aspect was by variance, the conversions will now be encouraged by special exception leeway. The streamline procedure reflects the Administration's hope that young professionals will opt to live the loft life, and avail themselves of Allentown's urban charm; Of course, the only problem is reality. While the new upscale apartments near Wegmans filled quickly, the lofts in Allentown proved to be a hard sell, despite being beautiful. My concern for the City is not about the well done projects, but that this new ordinance will just create the last thing we need, more apartments. Not all loft apartments will be done equally. Not all loft apartments will attract the higher income demographic these changes are meant to encourage. The previous zoning procedure succeeded in producing more lofts than demand, the new one may well produce more apartments than is desirable.

5 comments:

local said...

How about utilizing the hundreds of dwellings already existing throughout this city?
There is plenty of (or too much) available housing all across Allentown.

Looking To Escape said...

Not all loft apartments will attract the higher income demographic these changes are meant to encourage.
.
It seems the city will not put in the infrastructure needed to attract more desirable industry within the city core.

monkey momma said...

"While the new upscale apartments near Wegmans filled quickly, the lofts in Allentown proved to be a hard sell, despite being beautiful."

The apartments near Wegmans feed into the Parkland school district. That is a major draw, and something that Allentown cannot possibly replicate.

michael molovinsky said...

the demographic to which i'm referring, and they're hoping for, is either single or young couple without kids; the $1100 1 bedrm.

ALFONSO TODD said...

I am single, young professional with no kids and I would NEVER pay $1100.00 to live in a loft in A-town... Sorry.