Oct 23, 2013

The Morning Pawlowski

Although I subscribe to The Morning Call, yesterday they delivered The Morning Pawlowski. Had Pawlowski's campaign manager published the paper, it could not have been more favorable. Playing on the brand name of the hotel, the headline stated that a Renaissance was coming to Allentown. The subtitle was a Pawlowski quote about epic transformation. Anybody looking for balance or reason in the article would come up empty handed. Marriott hypes their Renaissance chain of hotels for guests interested in discovery. What there is to discover near 7th and Linden Streets is beyond me. Will their guests be visiting the 7/11 store of convenient shooting on the corner?

photocredit:Michael Kubel/The Morning Call/October21,2013


Anonymous said...

Didthe Mayor forget that there are two other hotels on Hamilton St. What are his plans to help keep them open as hotels if the new hotel will be where all that come to Allentown will stay.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate your insight,sir.

Anonymous said...


This hotel plan is a real head scratcher for a lot of reasons. I can't figure it out. Either those of us who know the area well are missing something fundamental or investors are being sold a bill of goods.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

This article appeared on the same day the Reading Eagle ran an article on the loss of millions from losing one event for a year at their arena downtown. Everything is on a shoestring.

Reading has had a championship hockey and indoor football team, its center is run professionally, it's got immediate parking, huge police presence, it's been around a lot longer and yet it still has trouble making money.

Yet Allentown somehow believes it is going to buck that trend. Just don't see how, especially if the Sands lands that CRIZ zone.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:55, in fairness to pawlowski and the arena project, which believe it or not i try to be, the arena project includes the new offices, which will put new shoes on the ground every day. if more new businesses other than those already announced materialize, remains to be seen. how much spinoff from these new workers, and the arena events occur, remains to be seen. i don't see the market for the new hotel. none of the new businesses will generate business visits more than ppl, which couldn't support the holiday inn. any success that the marriott has, will be a direct loss to the holiday inn, which has been subsidized three times in the last 15 years.

LVCI said...

There's a couple of things I'm not clear about from the Morning Call Article.. Early on I predicted that Reilly would flip these properties as fast as he could. What isn't mentioned in this article is whether Marriott will buy the hotel outright or whether they are leasing it from him. In other words who ends up taking the risk over the long haul? Either way it's a win-win for Reilly.

The article said, "An early estimate put the complex cost at $272 million, but City Center CEO J.B. Reilly explained that an additional $78 million must be spent to fit the buildings out for tenants LVHN and Renaissance." Another unexpected $78 million! What else is going to pop up down the line?

What started out as $300 million became $600+ million for this particular NIZ area in just the first 3 years. I am 100% convinced when all is said and done some $1b (or even more) will be at risk to state taxpayers's money when you factor in the Riverfront NIZ area..

Fine and dandy is this all pays off, but will it? (Quoting from the same article)-- "It's the first new hotel in the city since the Hamilton Street Hilton (now the Holiday Inn) was opened in 1981. But as the once-vibrant downtown lost anchors like Hess's and Leh's department stores, it has gained a reputation as an unsafe corridor where many were no longer willing to shop."

And this will be different how? Because it's 2 blocks down the street? And what about the Americus? Three hotels? One of these others, maybe both, are going to get fried. Will it be the investors of Holiday Inn and/or the taxpayers on the Americus NIZ deal? It would be great if all three hotels survive, but I remain doubtful they can. To my way of thinking it's like a very expen$ive game of musical chairs.

michael molovinsky said...

lvci@11:06, in response to you and the first comment at 4:57am, the americus is not a hotel, nor is any part of it open. to my knowledge it has yet to be approved for any niz loan. the traylor may still have some "hotel" rooms. i see no risk on reilly's part. he was fronted the front money by the NIZ authority, and the debt service is now supported by what was previously state taxes. i can see no reason why he would sell such an advantageous arrangement.

Anonymous said...

If the Americus is Not A hotel, wha will it be when it is opened.

michael molovinsky said...

@12:24, the americus is an empty building, which still has some active commercial antenna's on it's roof. previously, before pawlowski forced them out, there were some operating stores on the 6th street side, including minnich jewelry, which was there for 40 years or so. the current owner would like to secure financing from the NIZ to remodel into a hotel and/or apartments, a few floors at a time. his plans apparently have not been met with enthusiasm from the powers that be. please do not ask questions in the comments. i usually do not print or answer them.

Anonymous said...

Scott the big hidden here are the deals themselves. Reilly has been getting tenants by charging $3-$5/foot rents and paying lease breakage and relocation costs. He rolls those costs into his mortgage and bang - it's recovered by the NIZ tax revenues so it costs him nothing. So basically he's giving away the PA and Allentown Taxpayer's store to get businesses in town.

I have no doubt the same thing happened with the hotel. I am sure the economics work for the investor, but at our expense.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Many years ago there was a mayor that was going to be indicted for closing hamilton st down to drive all the costomers to the whithall mall area? That was when wsan was were the perkins is now when the lehighvalley mall was just a thought and were walmart is was twoguys?

Now this fine mayor that is long gone has a park named after him?

The governor just came into allentown to address allentowns mayor as to his comment of PA is not going in the write direction to let him no who is truely the guard on duty?