Thursday, April 26, 2012

Habemus NIZ!

Like the College of Cardinals, the Lehigh Valley's top developers will conclave today at Best Western, located off Route 512, to address the adverse ramifications of Allentown's recently created Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ). The meeting, scheduled to start at 2 PM, will continue until they figure it out.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who has already sued developer Abe Atiyeh and has threatened the rest of them, will be allowed to make a brief presentation. NIZ developer J.B. Reilly will insist he's not poaching Lehigh Valley businesses, even though the only businesses he has recruited for his NIZ have all been local.

After they're finished, they will be asked to leave. Like the Swiss Guard, Township Supervisors will then lock the College of Developers into a room, where they will pray for an answer.

If you see yellow smoke curling from Best Western on your way home tonight, it's bad news. But if white smoke shoots to the heavens, it can only mean one thing.

Habemus NIZ!

Townships are concerned about an EIT tax grab, but they and real estate mavens are even more worried that subsidized office rents within the NIZ will allow J.B. Reilly to poach their tenants. If that happens, their real estate values will decline, reducing the tax base.

Habemus Tax Hike!.

Donning their red robes, developers like Don Frederick, Michael Roma, Abe Atiyeh, the Chrins, the Benners, the Pektors and the Zawarskis will all be there.They now know that the Governor's office has conceded the legislation is unconstitutional. They now know that Senator at Browne is trying to fix it.

They are in a much stronger position than they were two weeks ago, when they first met.

Sara Hailstone, who attempted to crash the last conclave, has already been spotted checking into Best Western for the night.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hear Abe will wear the entire wooden suit and not just the hat. What a stiff!

Anonymous said...

Like the College of Cardinals, the Lehigh Valley's top developers will conclave today at Best Western, located off Route 512, to address the adverse ramifications of Allentown's recently created Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ). The meeting, scheduled to start at 2 PM, will continue until they figure it ou

Is Sara going?

Jon Geeting said...

Why would it only be JB Reilly poaching tenants? There's nothing stopping any of these developers from building in the NIZ too.

Anonymous said...

Jon,
I think you get an "A" for spying the obvious, they could all build something and Jandel is already considering a hi-rise office building on the water-front. Don't be fooled by this blog

Way to read between the lines

Bernie O'Hare said...

Geeting, It's pretty difficult for them to do that when Reilly owns all the land in the downtown area, and a select few others own the land at the riverfront. Don't you know anything about this issue?

michael molovinsky said...

geetings, you're assuming that their projects will be approved by the arena authority, making them competitive with reilly. in fact, reilly was given $20million upfront, before he even stated a project or location, pocket money if you will. ACIDA and it's successor, the Arena Authority, have already demonstrated that it's a closed, arbitrary group. your positions, and blog, have no relationship to realities in allentown; that includes your nonsense about density and the rental boom.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

Come on, dude. You must know I could not allow that comment to stand.

Anonymous said...

One of your best bits of parody Bern. Kudos

Seamus

Bernie O'Hare said...

Merci. Actuall, I'm way behind I have at least 5 stories to tell about Hanover and Bethlehenm ZHB, but have to check some things out in Allentown this AM and then search a few titles. The stories will have to wait.

Maybe one.

Anonymous said...

I heard the US Attorney for Eastern PA already set up the listening devices in the room. Perhaps Sarah can just search for their frequency.

Anonymous said...

No one has purchased the large property at 3rd and Hamilton in the NIZ. There is no reason any of these developers can't pick it up today.

Don't kid yourself, there is plenty of property in the NIZ available.

Anonymous said...

The governor cannot declare if a law is constitutional or not. He can give an opinion but he has not even done that in this case. You are making things up.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Here we go again. It's pretty clear now that the Governr's office has said the law is unconstitutional. That's why Browne is trying to fix it. That's why the TCC sent out the email I referenced yesterday.

I never said that the Governor is a judge and has the power to declare a law unconstitutional. But he is a party to the litigation, and if he concedes that the townships are right, that pretty much clears the way for a ruling.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:10,

You don't seem to get it. Actual ownership means nothing. Your project has to be deemed "NIZworthy." That seems to be a function of campaign contributions and connections to Reilly.

Anonymous said...

Bernie just to remind everyone, every project in the NIZ requires the city's approval before it gets to the NIZ board.

So there's plenty of opportunity for mischief, graft - er, political donations, and other problems for those not connected.

zoid said...

No one wants to develop in downtown Allentown!!Why invest your own money to buy property down there.

Monkey momma said...

This entire conversation should have happened long ago. It is a real shame that Browne didn't write this legislation AFTER this process.

Getting, you really do not know what you are talking about. Reilly was given insider knowledge available to no one else. He was given cash available to no one else. His goons were given authority to kick out tenants before this zone became public. It's clearly not a level playing field by any stretch of the imagination.

Anonymous said...

Until a project by a reputable developer is denied NIZ funding or a NIZ loan your accusations have zero merit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Really? Why did Allentown shuffle at least 35 businesses to other parts of the City without telling them about the NIZ or that they could prticipate in the NIZ? Seems like there's plenty of merit in that accusation.

But I guess you would not deem them "reputable".

Monkey momma said...

Since when is making back room deals considered reputable?

zoid said...

YOU ARE CORRECT MONKEY MOMMA, IF ALL THESE CONVERSATIONS HAD TAKEN PLACE BACK IN 2009, WHEN EVERYTHING WAS DONE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, WE WOULD NOT BE WHERE WE ARE WITH THIS. SHAME ON BROWNE AND THE REST OF THE ALLENTOWN FOLKS WHO HOODWINKED ALL OF US.

Anonymous said...

Come on bernie,
A good giggle with all that jiggle makes for some fun down at the local gentlmens club. This is all fun and games at the expense of the people in allentown cityhall that conduct themselves on the lower level of appropriateness?

Anonymous said...

The NIZ was public and in the papers when the purchases of the buildings were going on. No one applied. They still haven’t applied.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 1:07, it was not revealed that private parties could receive loans when the buildings were being purchased. i know this because I attended the private meeting between the city and merchants, and it was never mentioned. it was also never mentioned by pat browne, in another private meeting. only later, after reilly was given $20 million, (for no specific project) was it revealed that private parties were eligible for NIZ tax backed loans.. only then were the rules formulated, after the fact. since that time, reilly has been approved for another loan, and now butz. you have been repeating this falsehood for months.

Anonymous said...

Reilly just left the conclave and lied to our faces. The rents he fabricated outragious.

My tenants have been approached and offered rent at $6-7 per square foot to move in City Center.

Come on JB!

small business dude said...

Its quite clear after reading both the legislation and the NIZ application (several times) that the authority can approve or deny an application for any reason whatsoever.

In fact, if one actually reads the application then it is obvious that the arena itself should be rejected due to disruptions in traffic and parking.

I urge anybody out there who hasn't actually done so to read the legislation and the application. Its clearly designed to allow those in power to pick and choose the winners (ie campaign doners) and award them with tax dollars.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I wasn't aware of that myself. Thanks. I'll re-read it. No wonder you're in business.

small business dude said...

Here is the link to the guidlines. Check out page 5. It seems to me the Arena would violate at least 2 of these points.

http://www.allentownpa.gov/Portals/0/files/BuildingStandards/Sheet%20Metal/Allentown%20(NIZ)_Guidelines%20for%20Obtaining%20Authority%20Financing.pdf

small business dude said...

Sorry i guess links dont cut and paste very well here. Its very easy to find though. Just google allentown NIZ.

small business dude said...

sorry I keep referring to it as the application but the link is actually the financing guidlines. I still stand behind my earlier point, though.