May 10, 2016
Allentown, Revitalized or Devastated?
Driving down the arena block of Allentown, one would hardly know that behind all the buildings on the other side of the street, there is nothing. An entire square block of buildings has been leveled in preparation for the NIZ baron's mega-project. The baron, J.B. Reilly, has put those plans on mothballs, and now is going to build an office condo at 6th and Hamilton. Although the Morning Call has been promoting that smaller, alternative project, they haven't shown one photograph of the devastation two blocks away.
Before anything was built in the NIZ, it was reported that National Penn loaned J.B.Reilly $16 million for site acquisitions. In the last two years over $30 million a year of state tax money has gone for Reilly's debt service. Did the taxpayers of Pennsylvania pay to create this devastation? Rather than cutting ribbons for Mr. Reilly, our state representatives, Michael Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer, would better serve their constituents by getting answers to the questions asked on this blog.
What sort of town allows one person to displace hundreds of residents, and level dozens of buildings with no public input? Between an ambitious mayor and an agenda driven newspaper, we now have a wasteland in the heart of Allentown.