Dec 13, 2017

A Supremo Christmas

While I've never shown much enthusiasm for J.B. Reilly's attempt to revitalize downtown through his high end shops, neither has the marketplace. Christmas day, I visited the new Supremo Market on 7th Street, occupying the former Levine's Fabric store. The market was attractive, large, well stocked and mobbed.

There is an old saying that there are more nickels than quarters. I suppose that it should be no surprise that in a city populated by a large percentage of low income people, a well run store geared for that demographic can prosper. What's interesting is that while the taxpayer ponied up a $Billion dollars, so far, for the NIZ, the thriving Supremo costs us nothing. While the Morning Call writes one promotion after another for Reilly's portfolio, there is nothing said about the real success story in Allentown.

Let me provide some history.  Once upon a time,  that was the busiest block on 7th Street. The building was built as a Sears and Roebucks in the early 1950's, using a plan duplicated in other cities. The store did well competing with the three local department stores, and was first to go suburban.

Talking of history, some may notice a new item on this blog's sidebar. It's a picture of a Mack Truck Magazine cover, which was printed each month. I have titled the new insertion, LOCAL HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE.  Hopefully, the local political shenanigans will slow down, so I can devote more posts to our rich history.

stock photo from Supremo website

above reprinted from December 29, 2015

UPDATE December 2017: Reilly's attempt at upscale has thus failed. Both the Moravian Bookstore and an upscale women's shop(s) have closed. This blogger continues to doubts the occupancy rates for Strata,  published by Reilly and his paper.


alfonso todd said...

SUPREMO's is the REAL VIP and rumor has it the City NEVER wanted it there! SMH... Thank GOD for TRUE private investment and initiative.

-Alfonso Todd

Jamie Kelton said...

Supremo market is a symbol of the latinization of Allentown. I was in Houston a few years ago on a work assignment and went into a similar market there called Fiesta. Catered to the needs of the many Mexicans who lived or worked there. The parking lot was full of cars and many people shopping in it.

I've not been in Supremo but it's filling the same kind of need in Allentown. Reilleytown isn't . Except for a few snobbish snowflakes that think they're "well off" renting at the Strata, all downtown Allentown is these days are 9-5 offices with little or nothing else to attract people. Other than a paycheck.

We have examples of central government planning all around the world Nearly all of them are basically failures when the bureaucrats believe they know what's best for the governed. That isn't how Allentown, nor the United states developed and became the wealthiest nation on the planet. It was free enterprise, not government planning.

Jamie Kelton said...

Just ask yourself, do you think that Reilly would allow a Supremo Market to open in one of his concrete and steel buildings?

jim molchany said...

My guess is Reilly wouldnt choose Supremo for his development. Wisely Peter Lewnes did . If I were to advise Reilly I would choose Trader Joes for his area. All Trader Joes draw for at least a ten mile radius in all their locations. To attract he could come up with a creative lease to start with. Daffy's [Clothing store in Philly] or similar Styles and Changes [70's, 80's Hamilton Street] type store also would compliment his scene. He just has to keep at it and be more aggressive in his approach.