Apr 24, 2012

Two Few Benefit from Arena

When Lee Butz addressed the Chamber of Commerce Real Estate Luncheon last week,  he inadvertently made a prophetic statement.
"Allentown is on the brink of tremendous resurgence due to the creation of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone," Butz said. "If implemented properly, it's going to be a huge benefit to every business in the Lehigh Valley and every individual in the Lehigh Valley and a tremendous opportunity for every developer in our community. 
"I said implemented properly. The reason I said that is it is incumbent on us to make sure the benefits of this don't just go to a few people."
What seems odd and ironic is that so far only two developers have approved projects; By approved, I mean that those projects will be financed by bonds, repayable by taxes. The two developers are J.B. Reilly and Butz himself. Since when is two even a few? Butz also received the largest contract of his career to build the arena complex, including an office building and hotel, to be owned by Reilly. Just as Hanover Township was joined by other townships in it's lawsuit against the NIZ, other developers may end up joining Atiyeh's lawsuit.


  1. Maybe a huge windfall to Alvin Butz Co.
    How many locals are employed by this bogus hole project?
    Now money from this ill conceived project will be spent mounting law suits against citizens.
    The local law industry will now squeeze this lemon for their piece of the pie.
    I prefer a big hole.
    While this proceeds, why not raise school taxes, and property taxes, and the parking authority can blitz the city residents and visitors for more funding......

  2. Mike I don't put Butz in with slimy people like Pawlowski and Browne. Even with the KOZ benefit, he still put his own cash at risk with the 9th/Hamilton building which was a pretty risky thing to do.

    Am I missing something that you see?

  3. "his own cash at risk with the 9th/Hamilton building"
    Did he?
    How much?
    It was tax free for how long?
    At least he is local.

  4. @10:46, i have no disagreement with your comment about butz. i was simply noting that as of yet, the NIZ benefits only two people, which is even less than a "few"

    furthermore, although i'm critical of the arena project, i have never referred to anybody as slimy or even implied impropriety for personal gain. i'm not shy about insulting people, but wish to be associated only with my own words.

  5. I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth. That they're slimy is my categorization of them. Personal gain or not, the way they've conducted themselves is one step below a slug.

  6. MM -

    For some to classify Butz as an innocent bystander in all this is laughable.

    He's been right there, taking the tax-free zones, grants, and loans for his own building. In fact, the city just applied for another state grant to fund his expansion.

    He's also been willing to cheerlead the arena project, with the hopes of roping in some of the taxpayer-funded construction work for his company.

    He loves to claim he is all for Allentown, but he's all about fleecing the taxpayers for his own profit. He has long ago set aside any principles he had in favor of lining his own pockets.

  7. @ 2:55, here's my take on butz. although his building was KOZ, he paid to construct it, and it stood mostly empty and under rented for years. the sangria build-out was a grant, and his new addition makes him the second NIZ recipient in the district, next to reilly. he certainly has a self interest in promoting the arena and niz, but he had invested substantially in allentown with his building.

  8. I definitely think Chairman Pawlowski should start charging people money to breath the (corrupt?) air in Allentown.

    Sort of like his own little Cap and Tax program ... I have every confidence the all-Democrat Rubber Stamp Council of Apparatchiks would overwhelmingly approve.

    Then, the Chairman would have plenty of cash to finish constructing the magnificent Palace of Sport.

    Perhaps what is needed is another piece from superstar journalist Bill White ...


  9. Ok so I'm old and cranky, but I sure do miss the old days when all you needed to get rid of a few pikers was a rail and some tar and feathers, not a division of attorneys.


Anonymous comments are not permitted. Comment by name or establish a pseudonym. Comments only represent the view of the commenter.