Jan 18, 2016

Morning Call Still Promoting For Reilly

On Friday, the Morning Call ran a special on Hess's. I could tell that the reporter actually never experienced the store, but I neither fault him or the paper for that. There are few places to find historical perspective on Allentown anymore,  this blog being one of them. But, what I do fault the paper for is the following line; Today, Allentown is undergoing a transformation that has brought an arena and high-end businesses and restaurants to the area dominated by Hess's.

Allentown becoming a dining destination is wishful thinking.  Allentown again becoming a high end shopping district is delusional.   Sage and the Moravian Bookstore were induced by J.B. Reilly to open here with irresistibly cheap rent, they were not attracted by any success of the area.  Furthermore,  after the failure of Shula's, it diminishes the paper's credibility to continue the Reilly NIZ myth.

At some point, after it was apparent to others, the paper starting portraying the disgraced city government for what it is.  At what point will the paper realize that the arena zone is a taxpayer funded, privately owned bonanza,  for just a few people.


Anonymous said...

It's difficult to project, but the whole show is a house of cards.
Yesterday millennials were going to flock to the NIZ. Today "empty nesters" can't wait to live in downtown Allentowns creative paradise.
Is the NIZ the punch line or the joke?

Former Allentonian said...

@4:48 With respect, "empty nesters" are packing up and moving south or west Texas, Florida, Arizona, South Carolina.

We earned our pensions, and aren't going to give it back to the City of Allentown for taxes, sorry.

My taxes here in Knoxville are next to nothing, it's beautiful landscape and it reminds us a lot of Pennsylvania here in East Tennessee.

As far as shopping in downtown Allentown goes today, it doesn't exist to any real extent. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Strata II will have Empty Nesters returning from all points south and west to live in the revitalized
City Center.
Just you wait and see.
The market for this demographic surprised us too!

Anonymous said...

So I talked to the Mrs., she agreed to sell the farm and reserve a flat at Strata Ii. Our only dilemma being flat choice. Do we choose a sixth street location, overlooking the parking lot? Perhaps a Linden St. View of the parking deck would be better. Wait she suggested a corner flat at sixth and linden. This way we can overlook The Morning Call and the afore mentioned sights. No wonder I married this woman!

doug_b said...

Allentown became successful because of geography, climate, work ethic of the people.

Nobody had a master plan, or threw money at schemes, it happened organically. Each success gave rise to more successes.

Now there are people who think they can create success, given enough money. A shiny building and restaurants do not create success - it just looks like it. This kind of monkey business attracts the schemer's and crooks. As it is being demonstrated every day in Allentown.

It appears things in the Lehigh Valley are still going downhill. It's one thing for an employer (Kraft) to have a reduction in force, it's another for it to close completely. Same for layoffs at Mack Trucks. You are losing quality jobs.

If Allentown is going to be 'revitalized' - it will have to happen naturally, for a reason.

Anonymous said...

I fully understand that the tax policy downtown is newsworthy and needs a means of being described in a shorthand way.

However, the regular use by Morning Call writers of the term "transformation" of Allentown is premature and inappropriate--as it certainly takes a side in a political process. This is a term that describes a finished (and positive) product--meaning the actual change in substance of Allentown as a municipality. It is fair to say that we're far from that point right now.

Satisfied Retiree in Allentown said...

As a small child, growing up on Front Street near Neuweillers, I always had a dream that when I retired, I'd sell my house in Lehigh Parkway and move back into the City, get an apartment by Center Square. Then my wife and I could spend each night at a fancy restraunt, or go drinking, then go back home to our rental apartment and sleep until the next day when we could go shopping at a fancy book store, or perhaps go to a nice restraunt for lunch.

So we both worked hard, started businesses, and invested our earnings into a nice retirement fund, then sold our home to some out-of-town people to help make the parkway a more diverse neighborhood.

Now we are realizing our dreams. We spend our retirement money on rent and food and buy trinkets at the hockey games. I have a Phantoms puck and my wife has a stadium seat with the phantoms logo on it.

Thank you Mayor Pawlowski for doing all of these things for us. With some luck, we'll have all of our retirement money spent soon so we can sign up for all those other things you give the people of Allentown. The section eight vouchers will help with the rent, and we can take the SNAP cards and use them like Visa cards at the Hamiltonian.

We'll remember all you've done for us when it comes election time for sure enough real. You and all of your friends on that flyer you left on our door, we'll remember them, and hope that your van and that friendly driver will help us go to the voting place again.

Allentown is sure a wonderful place to live in !!!!!!

Dave said...

Mr Molovinsky

It's fitting you put the photo of Hess Brothers on your piece today. I was a month or two away from graduating from high school when they took the big sign down in front of the store. The renewal project on Hamilton Street made all the retailers take down their outdoor advertising signs, and Hess's was the biggest of them.

Looking back on that day, it was the day the downtown died. It never was the same after the day they took the sign down; it was the end of an era that future generations will never see again.

ironpigpen said...

Mr. Molovinsky,

Hey, has The Morning Call's Bill "If I lived in, say, Altoona, I might not be so crazy about it (the NIZ) because the plan created by state senator Pat Browne is incredibly generous with state revenues" White apologized to you in print yet or what?


Rolf Oeler

Monkey Momma said...

Off topic...but...where are you today? Are you OK? I'm worried.

Anonymous said...

You can't have a successful downtown that's made in one man's vision.

The big failure wasn't the NIZ concept really but foolishly handing the entirety of it to one man.

Everything downtown right now is in the vision of a highly educated, white, wealthy male.

What is ANIZDA? More old, wealthy, educated white guys.

You can't be successful with group-think. Downtown needs a variety of cultures, variety of backgrounds and experiences to flourish especially in a middle-class/working poor city that's inching closer and closer to 50% Hispanic.

michael molovinsky said...

momma@9:54, thanks for your concern and that from others. hope to be up and at it, in a couple days.