The recent article about Allentown in the New York Times used the B word. Aided by tax dollars that would otherwise go to state or local general funds, developers should be able to offer attractive rents to companies that bring in new workers — who in turn might move into or buy new apartments and support new shops and restaurants in what had been a blighted urban landscape. The writer of the Times piece is from New York City. We know that, because even J.B.Reilly, who hopes to rent apartments to the new office workers, isn't building condo's to sell in center city Allentown, or as he says, city center Allentown. While that writer is from NYC, this writer is from Allentown, and will now tell you how to change blight into success; You simply move it around the corner and up three blocks. The merchants and shoppers previously referred to as blight on Hamilton Street, are now being touted as the success of 7th Street. On Hamilton Street they had to compete with both the memory and expectation of better days. On 7th Street, thing have been so dire for so long, the same shops and people now look like success. We could debate the sociology of my observation. We could become offended or defensive, but taking the show around the corner did change the perception. Talking of turning the corner, readers may soon notice a change in this blog. Although molovinsky on allentown will continue to write the unspoken, there are few too vestiges of the old commerce and valves to reference. While nobody will identify me as an advocate of the Arena and Neighborhood Improvement Zone, reporting will shift more to the future.
photocredit:The Urban Shopper/michael molovinsky