Allentown's NIZ was a boutique legislation that allows private property to be publicly financed. On the up side, for the most part, the beneficiaries have been local boys. That is about to change.
The Morning Call had an excellent report on a New Jersey firm muscling in on our tax dollar giveaway. They learned their lesson well from the first interloper, Ruckus Brewery. Ruckus was set up with the Neuweiler Brewery by Mike Fleck, before he went to the pokey with Pawlowski. Ruckus managed to raise money from their NIZ approval and get possession of the brewery without actually spending any of their own money. For that fund raising, they changed their name to Brewers Hill. Previously they never even had experience with actual brewing or real estate...Never underestimate the value of a political connection.
Like Ruckus/Brewers Hill, the new player promises to relocate their office here to Allentown. Sprinkle in a promise of affordable housing, and the Allentown welcome mat is out. They have agreements now with Brewers Hill, and options on neighborhood properties.
Personally, I preferred my tax dollars benefiting the local boys, like Reilly and Jaindl.
photocredit: Robert Walker
above reprinted from February of 2021
UPDATE MAY 18, 2022: With the recent news about Neuweilers, I decided to revisit the brewery posts. The post above is just one of dozens I have written on the brewery since 2008. I may have somewhat more knowledge about the topic than the Morning Call's changing cast of reporters, because I had actually sat down with the last private owner. In 2007 Pawlowski said that "We have to get it out of the hands of this guy," It was also the last time that any property taxes were paid on the property. While the city took procession supposedly because no improvements were made, likewise nothing has been done since, fifteen years later. Actually, the property now is in considerably worse condition. But in addition to no taxes being paid in all these years, we have been paying the salaries of the bureaucrats in the various controlling agencies since the property was confiscated.
Whether demolished or restored, or a combination of both, we all want to see change at the property. But understand that we as taxpayers will be paying for that change with our diverted state income taxes. Understand that although the project will be publicly financed, it will be privately owned.
Those interested in an account of the situation from 2007 until now, can use the search engine of this blog's sidebar... simply type in Neuweiler brewery.