Jan 13, 2012
The Longest 90 miles
I think that one of the longest 90 miles stretches in United States has to be between New York City and Allentown. Although only two hours away, it's a different world. In Manhattan, a one bedroom apartment rents for $3200, in center city Allentown, $650. In Manhattan there are a million office workers earning in excess of $100,000. In Allentown, they couldn't fill the BrewPub. In Manhattan, it costs $750,000 to buy a small one bedroom condominium. With this frame of mind, many New York investors came to Allentown and purchased apartment buildings. They thought because they were paying less than the price of their Beamer, for each apartment, how could they lose? They gave the tenants self addressed envelopes and told them to send the rent. They learned how they could lose, and many of those buildings are now for sale or empty. This brings to mind an urban minded blogger writing about the Lehigh Valley. He wants all of us to move into center city and take public transportation. He wants the city government to insist on tall buildings and high density. He has the New York City frame of mind. Blogger Jon Geeting is heartened by the current NIZ development. As one developer candidly admitted, it's only possible with your tax dollars. Only when Allentown begins being developed with private money, as in New York City, will it be meaningful.