Dec 13, 2011

Allentown's Transformation Myth

Like the midget on Fantasy Island saying De Plane, De Plane, Pawlowski keeps saying The Plan, The Plan. He even calls The Plan transformational. It's time to inject some reality into this myth. Although a local developer has been buying buildings, he is doing so with a $20million loan from ACIDA, which he can repay using taxes from those buildings. So far, despite projections of thousands of jobs and hundreds of new apartments, one company with one hundred jobs will occupy a slightly remodeled building. As one knowledgeable about the apartment business, let us hope those new apartments never come to be. The City of
Reading, with the same shift in demographics in the last decade, has just been declared the Poorest City in America. This designation occurred despite the Sovereign Event Center, which failed to halt that city's deterioration. Here in Allentown, a local auctioneer is offering one of the new 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom townhouses at 8th and Walnut Street starting at $65,000. Just a few years ago those new townhouses, built with subsidies and KOZ, were hyped by Pawlowski to be transformational.

The plane arrives


Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention Reading. Traveled with Reading resident who lamented the downfall of that once
shopping giant. The traveler said no matter how hard the city tries, the perception of danger cannot be erased. Some of the once huge outlets are now closed and even a revitalized arts center and a newly elected mayor can't seem to sway the tide.

Jon Geeting said...

Hmm, what else might have happened in the housing market between 2007 and 2011 that maybe you should've mentioned in this post?

michael molovinsky said...

jon, that's a fair comment. likewise, zawarski never finished the units he started on 8th st., between union and walnut st. (he filled in the foundations with stone) and that was before the housing crash. for pawlowski and the morning call peeps to talk about 650 units of new housing is absurd. especially the implication that they could attract the middle class.

Anonymous said...

Allentown is FULL of nice empty dwellings in need of residents.
Inner city gated communities will solve nothing.
Hugly expensive, wasteful projects will not work.
A perception of safety is sorely needed in order to induce anybody but the financially destitute to live here.

Monkey Momma said...

If there was a demand for nicer apartments downtown, the market would have already seen to the creation of such dwellings. As it stands now, however, folks who are looking to rent downtown in Allentown are NOT looking for high end places.

Property values have plummeted, downtown and elsewhere. Flooding the market with even more housing will only exacerbate the problem, esp. for center city. This is a huge problem for property owners downtown and elsewhere.

AuH20 said...

We all need to stop talking about 'perceived' crime. It is the REAL crime that keeps the middle class away from cities like Reading and Allentown. Liberals always want to 'invest' in this, that and the other thing. Well, it's time to invest in police protection. If the professionals ask for 20% more then let's fund 30% more. Make life miserable for the criminal class and we'll be on our way to a more livable city.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Monkey Momma,

If there was demand for people who had MM thoughts he would be the mayor of this city. However he is just a blogger who doesnt live in the city.

michael molovinsky said...

ms. future, actually, there seems to be an appreciation for my thoughts, regardless of where i live.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Is there anything you like about Allentown? Or are you just so far right of a Republican that any change is negative? You have gone against the Cedar Beach playground, which is extremely successful. You were against the new trails through the parks, another successful thing. You were against the LANTA bus depot, once again very successful. And now you are against the redevelopment of downtown. You should change your blog from Molovinsky on Allentown to Molocinsky Hates Allentown. You dont even live in the city of Allentown, you do own property and we all know that but the residents of those properties are the ones paying the taxes through you. You can't even vote in this city. Stopping wasting your time and breath. No one cares about stone structures that were built in the 30's. You have zero idea about what development is about. Allentown is like what is what it is like now because people of your generation and will be even better then you could ever imagine when you are 6 feet in ground... We the future viewers of what this city can become only hope that this will come sooner than later.

BTW: How is South Whitehall Township tonight?

michael molovinsky said...

ms. future, you will be disappointed to learn that the current Friends of the Park newsletter, released through the city park department, solicits support for the WPA structures. btw, they use and credit my photographs.

ironpigpen said...

"so far right of a Republican"

This is your description of Mr. Molovinsky's ideology?

Ha ha.

Back to Political Science 101 for you, Ms. Future. Try to pay some actual attention this time.


Anonymous said...

I see no proof that you are a resident of our city.
I appreciate input from any body interested in the future of Allentown.
Your posts are full of vile comments that are certainly not the beliefs of any city resident I have ever spoken with, save the mayor and and his lap dog (you.)

ironpigpen said...

As you know, Mr. Molovinsky, I have been going over the football at the 1976 Summer Olympics in some detail as of late.

I will not be addressing the financial mess that became the Montreal Games but this little tidbit I read at Bloomberg Businessweek is interesting considering all the speculation about Pawlowski's Palace of Sport over here :

"Montreal's debts are a cautionary tale ... after the 1976 Summer Games, Montreal wound up with a deficit of $ 2.5 billion. Montreal's Olympic Stadium was little used and a visible reminder of the taxpayers' coming burden, earning the nickname 'The Big Owe'. The debts were finally paid off in 2006 (IPP note, thirty years later) but the city and regional government are still debating who should pay the $ 20.0 million annual cost of maintaining the stadium. Since the Expos baseball team decamped to Washington and became the Nationals, the stadium has had no primary tenant."