Feb 29, 2016

Allentown's NIZ Revealed

Although the office workers and their income taxes used for Reilly's mortgage debt service are real, this blog has always maintained that the so called demand for restaurants and high end stores is fakery. Worse, that fakery is hyped as reality by The Morning Call. Between the lines of the Shula's Bankruptcy, my contention is proved correct.  Shula's owed virtually every vendor they dealt with money. They were just another prop in Reilly's illusion show. Reilly operates the Dime and the Starbucks himself, and reportedly provided the liquor licenses to several of the other eating spots.  I also still contend that there are many ghost tenants in the Strata Flats, as indicated by dark windows and few people seen, coming or going. Although, none of this is a crime,  the paper printing the promotions as news, is disturbing.

photocredit:Harry Fisher/The Morning Call


Anonymous said...

No fan of the NIZ, but I'm not sure you're drawing the correct conclusion here.

We know that Shula's left the Promenade owing their landlord a large sum of money. Not sure if they were the only ones owed money at that point, or how much of that actually carried over to the new figure quoted in the paper.

I don't think there's any doubt that the move to the NIZ didn't help things, but this might have been a case of poor business practices or the owner overestimating the entire VALLEY market available for his product.

michael molovinsky said...

@5:34, this post has nothing to do with Shula's, and everything to do with Reilly and The Morning Call. Shula apparently was a dead beat indeed before he even left the Promenade. Reilly placed him in the Artswalk as if there was a clientele already established there that wants $50 steaks, and the Morning Call presented his promotion as news.

Anonymous said...

I suggest light timers for certain NIZ properties. Random on/off times ,cheap, effective.

Jamie Kelton said...

Mr Molovinski

I can understand that The Morning Call tries to put a good face on all the new buildings and businesses downtown. Hamilton Street needed a facelift because many of the buildings there were close or over a century old and the shopping district I grew up with had left the city many years ago.

I also share your concern however, that The Morning Call, instead of reporting the story, has crossed the line to become part of the story. After college, I worked at an advertising agency in Philadelphia for a few years and I wrote a lot of copy to promote various businesses that our agency helped to market. What I see in the newspaper articles looks a lot like the copy I used to write, but it is presented as news. In particular, the restaurant business, which seems to be the majority of new businesses that are open to the public on Hamilton Street, are very difficult to start up. You have to develop something that makes your restaurant unique, your food and drink have to appeal to your customers, and your prices need to be affordable to your clientele. Also you need to develop customers that come in regularly, as they are your base that you can count on for a steady stream of revenue.

Now I will admit my husband and I rarely go downtown, we live outside of the city. The hockey games don't interest me much, although we did go to a concert and saw the arena. It looks wonderful inside, but it's in the wrong place. It should be near the Phillies stadium where we see several games a year. I do hope the businesses are successful, don't get me wrong, I want our city to grow. But as I've read your blog, and seen comments on this and also in the Morning Call, this entire thing seems like a massive public relations effort with little or no substance behind it. I know, that's what I'm trained in doing. My husband said with my smile I could sell the skin off a rattlesnake :) LOL

Unknown said...


George Ruth said...

...and the weekend highlight in the Morning Call? An interview with the owner/operator of--you guessed it--Vince's Steaks.