Mar 7, 2017

Pawlowski's Hole

Allentown doesn't have much of a political memory. The Morning Call changes out its reporters about every 6 months, and most political activists eventually have lobotomies out of frustration. Never the less, some of you may remember Heydt's hole. After he torn down Hess's, the hole sat there for 18 months while a group of investors failed to find financing for a amateur hockey arena. (The one built later in Bethlehem folded and now is for sale) Now, eight years later, Pawlowski has a hole. Announced with great fanfare, a local developer would build the Cosmopolitan on the site of Sal's Spaghetti House. It makes me nervous when they name a restaurant before they built it. Anyway, Pawlowski bought Sal's, and the city paid for the demolition.(Through one of its Authorities) Then the city gave the Cosmopolitan a $50,000 restaurant grant. Yes, we gave a brick-less name $50,000. I think some of the city puff bloggers were even making reservations for dinner. Back to the hole; as a sidewalk supervisor I was surprised to see the excavators dig under the adjoining Sovereign Building and pour pylons under its footers. Perhaps they were mining, mining for grants. Those pylons have enabled the developer to remove his equipment. and let that hole sit there now for over two months, with no danger to the adjoining building. I'd say about $50,000 worth of work has been done. Last month the city applied for a low cost Liquor License for the Cosmopolitan. Last week, after the Pawlowski Administration had an embarrassing "no comment" in regard to Johnny Manana's, a backhoe was moved back to outside the Cosmopolitan site. Is that backhoe a Pawlowski Prop? Does the developer sense the time is ripe for renewed grants? Does Pawlowski need a new ribbon to cut? *

* There could be legitimate reasons why construction has halted on the Cosmopolitan. However, last month the developer's attorney declined to comment on an explanation.

reprinted from August of 2008 

UPDATE: The developer(s) would go on to build the high end restaurant with their own capital. It was built pre-NIZ, and represented more faith in Allentown than many others shared at that time, including this blogger.


Jamie Kelton said...

From what I understand the Cosmopolitan/Hook/whatever you want to call it building is owned by someone not connected with the city or NIZ. Unless there is a buyer, the current owner will have to either hold on to it, which they don't want to do, or dispose of the building though a bankruptcy count, which I don't think they want to do either.

The best laid plans for this aren't going anywhere. It looks prime to be bought by an investor at maybe 50 cents on the dollar and perhaps turned into either more office space, which there is a glut of in downtown Allentown, or perhaps turned into a Red Lobster or something along those lines.

Or maybe a place like the Cheesecake Factory or Birraporetti’s. My husband goes to Houston on business a lot and enjoys those restaurants. They're business class but not affordable. Those would also fit in well with Symphany Hall and the plays and other presentations they have there. Forget the nightclub.

Jamie Kelton said...

I meant to write " They're business class but not UNaffordable".

Those restaurants aren't the little bistros that some culinary arts graduate chef that Reilly likes having downtown that are expensive and give you micro portions of food either. They're well-established restaurant chains that cater to both families and also business-class. I suppose it's that or the thing gets imploded as a big mistake.

LVCI said...

Can't remember where I read the comment, but someone suggested whoever had the sign they should re-hang it and turn it back into a spaghetti house :-)

doug_b said...

Sorry Jamie - I think a Red Lobster would be too expensive. How about a Long John Silver's?

Jamie Kelton said...

Fish is fish babe... ;)

JoshLCowen said...

Those big chains want to be located with a certain population (with money) within a given distance. Not foot traffic, no "perceived" safe parking would never hold up for a Red Lobster, et al. (see Shula's).
I would turn that place into 'loft-style' apartments and hope they don't become Section 8 any time soon.

doug_b said...
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michael molovinsky said...

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