Jan 5, 2012

News Behind The News


This morning, molovinsky on allentown begins a new feature entitled, News Behind The News. Every morning, The Morning Call has my head moving side to side. First, as I retrieve my late arriving paper, then, as I read the articles which contain no knowledge about the subject's past. I believe that these shortcomings result from their two types of reporters; One is young with no institutional memory of Allentown. The other, older, has turned into a nine to fiver, who can't wait to get out of Dodge every afternoon. News Behind The News will provide few links to the paper's archives, those clicks are no longer free. When possible, a click will be provided to molovinsky on allentown archives. The feature will be in tabloid fashion, large photo, small copy.

Yesterday's Morning Call article, on the demolition starting, showed the storage facility on Linden Street. This building had an interesting past. Up till about 1990 it was Cata Garment, a successful textile factory and large inter-city employer. When the factory closed, the owner turned the building into condominium format, hoping to sell different sections as potential loft apartments. That plan never succeeded, and Atiyeh purchased the building for pennies on the dollar from his estate. City Council granted the building KOZ status in 2004, taking it off the tax rolls, but making it marketable for Atiyeh. Across the street, the parking lot is another interesting story. A couple years ago, Ed Pawlowski and The Parking Authority wanted to sell it to the then flavor of the week, Nic Zawarski. The only opposition to the sale was this blogger, molovinsky on allentown. Although the Authority approved the sale, Nic never followed through on his purchase option. The lot is now touted as part of the ample parking plan for the arena.

11 comments:

Bill said...

Which parking lots are you referring to, Micheal? Trying to visualize. Do you mean the parking lots down Hall Street off of Turner and 7th or the ones on the west side of 8th Street next to the parking deck. Have not seen the blueprints but thought the footprint of the Arena took up the whole area between 7th and 8th on Linden. Thanks.

michael molovinsky said...

the parking lot(s) are east and north of the verizon building on linden. it is just north of the 7/11 and across from the lanta terminal outlet on 7th st.. the parking authority planned to sell them to zawarski for new housing. in 2008, he was pawlowski's development plan. the authority sold off it's lots on walnut and s. 8th street to him for new townhouses. the townhouses on walnut underperformed, the ones on s. 8th he never completed, filling in the foundations. he also had the option for the schoen building, among others.
pawlowski was community development director when the cata building was given KOZ. needless to say, center city self storage is a far cry from the office and residential condo's hyped at that KOZ hearing. let us hope that the arena plan has much, much more success than pawlowski's previous plans. if LVH does indeed locate a sports medicine office in reilly's new building, (as reported in today's call) it would be plus for that venture.

Anonymous said...

Thursday's edition.
Call's lead makes readers think that LVH is going to set up shop in the arena. A perfect partnership if you ask me. You hit em; We stich em. What deception. It's only that JB is stepping down.

Why not write about trying to reach customer service at 7 a.m. to see where your paper is.

Anonymous said...

Accidents to happen. Linden Street's left lane is now cut in a third so drivers are leaning right. Accidents to happen.

Anonymous said...

Know you don't agree with us about this but Nic Zawarski destroyed the
50-year-old Victory Garden behind Mack World headquarters. Was gonna build townhouses with the mayor's blessing. Destroyed everything.
Now 6 to 7 years later, a weed infested stone hill mess. Nothing.
Property has been sold and resold.
Still nothing. We can only hope LVH
decides to buy it and build a runnng track and exercise site. That would be fantastic for south siders who would even pay a small monthly exercise fee to enjoy. Hospital pres...listening?

Anonymous said...

the CATA building didn't come off the tax rolls until it was brought up to code...which was probably toward the end of the KOZ period. additionally, the building has a low assessed value.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:53, at that time city council was conducting meetings at various locations in the city. the meeting where that KOZ was approved was held at Dieruff High. i recall atiyeh lobbying for it's passage, both publicly and behind the scenes. interesting that i provide a link, and you make an apologist statement anonymously. until proved otherwise, i will assume the KOZ started immediately then, if not before.

Anonymous said...

the state legislation is clear that tax benefits do not start till a building is up to code. that has nothing to do w one going to a meeting.

Anonymous said...

Other Code Compliance
1. A person or qualified business will be precluded from claiming any exemption, deduction, abatement or credit if the real property owned by such person or qualified business within a KOZ is not in full compliance with all applicable State and local zoning, building and housing laws, ordinances and codes.
2. The real property owner must file an affidavit with the political subdivision attesting to compliance for that calendar year before December 31.

www.phila.gov/revenue/pdfs/Rev%20PDFs/koz.pdf

michael molovinsky said...

mr. anon, again, you have not documented that the building was paying taxes and the KOZ was not in effect. i will attempt to find the answer, in the meantime, please refrain from submitting more comments of this type. i've seen way too much code enforcement inequity in allentown to be persuaded by such meaningless links.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 9:56, i have made inquires, and that was NOT the practice in Allentown, actually quite to the contrary. KOZ was used to spur reuse of distressed properties, with tax benefits beginning when designed. fyi, this procedure was in effect when the alliance for building communities, under Ed Pawlowski, acquired the building at hamilton and lumber. although it had multiple violations, KOZ benefits began immediately.