State Will Allow Americus Hotel in the Allentown NIZ

Any other buildings that should’ve been in the NIZ borders but aren’t?

Matt Assad reports that the state will let the Americus hotel in:

Vacant and dilapidated the past nine years, Allentown’s 12-story Americus Center Hotel got good news this week when the state decided the city can alter the borders of its downtown arena zone to include the historic hotel.

Any changes to the borders of its Neighborhood Improvement Zone, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue officials say, must be made before bonds are sold to fund the $220 million arena complex.

With the arena authority preparing to sell bonds next month, it means city officials will have to work fast, said Sara Hailstone, Allentown director of community and economic development.

“We will need to follow up with the Department of Revenue and work through the details,” Hailstone said. “This is a great opportunity for the city.”

Comments

  1. John says:

    Oh good, inject more politics into this.

    Wanna bet Joe Clark gets turned down?

  2. GDub says:

    I’ll be thrilled if one hotel works out just fine. Forcing capacity on a downtown isn’t working out so well in downtown’s with a lot more going for them than Allentown: http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/05/24/audit-shows-baltimore-city-owned-hilton-hotel-is-losing-millions/

  3. Jon Geeting says:

    The main political dynamic I see is city vs state. The city’s going to try to get the state to pay for as much development as possible. What could possibly be the political motivation to turn down the Croc Rock expansion?

  4. Gdub says:

    I have to say, the financing of this project makes absolutely no sense to me at all. I wonder if the MC ever does anything but rewrite press releases. http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-arena-construction-20120820,0,7402193.story?page=1

    The key, of course, is how the project is going to pay for the rehabbing of an ancient hotel to compete with the one the project is partially financing (and I guess the Crowne/Holiday Inn doesn’t matter). It would be “interesting” to get an idea of what kind of revenue growth is anticipated to cover costs, and when places like the Americus can get their “cut.”

  5. John says:

    Mike Molovinsky covered how the city views Joe Clark back in January. Quoting:

    “Here’s a story you will not read about on any official City of Allentown website. It’s a story of private gumption, instead of the usual public subsidy. It’s the late 1990′s, and I stop in and visit infamous Allentown landlord Joe Clark. He’s sitting at a desk in the middle of a large empty storefront at 7th and Turner, surrounded by landlord supplies and building materials. The phone rings and it’s Mayor William Heydt. Heydt just learned that Clark purchased the vacant Eastern Light Building on Hamilton Street, and wants to know Clark’s intentions. Clark tells him he’s going to build the best nightclub Allentown has ever seen. Heydt doesn’t offer any help, but tells him that he’ll be under close scrutiny. Clark does go on to build the club, without a nickel of help from Allentown. Years later, when the BrewWorks would open with unlimited city subsidy, a public parking lot on 8th Street was given exclusively to the BrewWorks. A few weeks ago Clark asked if he could rent the Parking Authority lot behind the nightclub; Request denied. This week, based on ticket sales, Crocodile Rock was rated the 60th most successful nightclub in the world for 2011. The midgets at City Hall pay for consultants, when there’s a genius half a block away. ”

    Joe Clark is despised at City Hall, there’s no way he gets any help from Pawlowski.

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