Mar 7, 2017
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.