May 12, 2012
The Wages of Greed
Shown above are former customers with a former merchant, in a former store, in a former building on Hamilton Street. They are all gone now, replaced by a hole and lawsuits. When I first starting blogging about the arena, over a year ago, there wasn't too much interest. I wrote about fairness, level playing fields and the years those merchants had invested in Hamilton Street. They pleaded to no avail with the Administration and City Council; They even had a meeting with Pat Browne. They are an industrious people, and landed on their feet. I cannot say the same for Allentown. If it was greed or arrogance, apparently the Reilly/Pawlowski/Browne cartel reached for a little too much. Townships have joined townships defending their tax-base against the EIT grab. Developers outside of the NIZ will now also legally assert themselves to remain competitive. As Pennsylvania cuts back on services, local representatives will have to explain their vote for HOCKEY-GATE. As the bonds are delayed, if not cancelled, a local banker and bank will have to hope for repayment. J.B. Reilly is now sitting on a square block of inter-city apartments, not the clientele he envisioned. One thing is for certain, if the project gets back on track, the pot will not be as sweet as the big boys hoped, nor should it.
I usually age a post at least a year before I would reprint it. The above post is less than a month old, from April 20th. Things have not been going well for Pawlowski's hole. The municipal lawsuit has been enjoined by more townships, and the state wide township association might well join the fray. It appears now that we might be aging the hole. I have added a list of links to the April 20th edition of this post. Those links outline the history of the arena from inception, through November 2011.
UPDATE: Sunday's Morning Call has a feature story on the arena. In four pages and six thousand words, they cover the paragraph above. The article concludes with the notion that it would be a tragedy if Allentown is left with the hole, I'm not so sure. The expensive $35million dollar hole would have the potential to eventually attract market demand uses. That may well serve the taxpayers better than a $600 million dollar failure, which enriches the few, and burdens the community for the next century.