Dec 26, 2013

The Allentown Arena and Crime

The recent spate of violence in Allentown begs the question, how will crime effect the success of the Arena project? The damaging factor is the perception of crime, which has it's own lingering consequences. The hockey games will succeed, but the spinoff business will never materialize. The fans will scurry back to their inconvenient parking places, and clog N. 8th street as they flee the city for the safety of Catasauqua. Although the BrewPub may pick up a few customers, Sangria and other high end places will wither. Anybody foolish enough to open an upscale shop will be hard pressed to honor their lease.  Although this post is meant as an opportunity for readers to address the crime question, I will host no comments on any specific crime. They are tragedies, which leave grieving families.

UPDATE: This post is revised from December 2011. Although Sangria has come and gone,  all the new office workers will have a very positive effect on the daytime Hamilton Street  lunch business.


monkey momma said...

It's not the actual crime that will affect Arena attendance and restaurant success -it's the perceived threat of crime.

Allentown is lot like Upper Darby, PA. If you've ever seen a show at the Tower Theatre there, you will probably agree with me. There is definitely NOT a vibrant night life in Upper Darby, although there are a couple pretty good hole in the wall restaurants. The reason bars and restaurants haven't bloomed next to the always busy Tower is because of the threat of crime. A simple google search of "restaurants near the Tower theatre" (which I have searched a few times before a few recent shows) reveals a large group of folks who are unwilling to do ANYTHING but park their car and run into the theatre, then run right back to their car and go home. And, like Allentown, Upper Darby has some issues with crime, but it's not a seriously dangerous place by any means. Upper Darby is just not able to get over the perception of high crime. I suspect Allentown will not be able to overcome this problem, either.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Monkey Mamma. I also think that downtown will be the safest area in the state when the arena opens as most police efforts will be focused there.

The rest of Allentown will be a lot worse off as the city doesn't have the police manpower needed.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Lehigh Valley Hospital is telling employees the center city area has one of the lowest crime rates in the city. They have also revealed extra police officers will be hired to assure the safety of those venturing downtown to work. Have not met one person who is happy with the prospect of working in Center City Allentown.

michael molovinsky said...

@12:29, it certainly will not be a convenient place to go for therapy or a doctor visit.

Anonymous said...

Mike, allentown will pull the police presence from the surrounding areas for hockey night. I'm not worried about the arena attendies just atown tax paying residents who are footing the bill for extra services.
Chris Glennon