ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Three years ago, they were told to pack it up and move it out, but how are businesses displaced by the hockey arena in Allentown doing today?
We spoke Thursday with a handful of businesses that were forced to move. Their degree of success and their feelings about the move vary.
"We were on the corner of Eighth and Hamilton," said Andrew Jones, owner, G&A Barbershop.
G&A spent 16 years on Hamilton Street, but it was among the handful of businesses that were forced to move so the PPL Center could be built.
"It was a little scary because we were familiar with that area and the customers were familiar with where we were at," said Jones.
Jones said since his shop reopened at 12th and Tilghman, business is better, but that hasn't been the case for Pinocchio Wireless.
The owner said, since she moved from downtown to a shopping center on Hanover Avenue, business hasn't been as strong. She said she doesn't have the foot traffic she got from students and business people in the downtown and said once her lease is up, she may consider trying to move back to the Hamilton Street area.
One business that didn't move too far is Atax. Owner Paula Paredes moved across the street from her former location on South 8th Street.
"I was angry. I was crying every single day. I think I had to move, it was difficult for me," said Paredes, adding that she is now used to having more space for her tax clients.
She said she has done more business at the new location and now sees her move as a good thing.
"I think that project is bringing more people to Allentown," said Paredes. "For me, that project is benefitial for Allentown city."
We did talk to one merchant who said he is not happy about the move and debated whether business was better.
Allentown, PA 18102