|Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire|
|08/13/2013 –ATIN – A real estate developer turned major addiction treatment entrepreneur is seeking to redevelop a property in Allentown, PA’s downtown area into a large addiction treatment drug rehab alcohol rehab center concentrating on the treatment of adolescents aged 12 to 18, a type of treatment facility in the reasonably priced segment of the treatment market that there is a major dearth of nationwide. Already, though, the new center faces an uphill NIMBY battle as more than 65 area residents have signed a petition opposing approval of the new facility.
Nearly 100 Beds
Developer Abraham Atiyeh has bought a former Lehigh County correctional building and wants to convert it into a nearly 100 bed adolescent rehab to be called God’s Grace Adolescent Center. Since there are already two other drug and alcohol rehabs very nearby Atiyeh’s proposed new center and Allentown bylaws only allow for rehabs of 15 beds at most, Atiyeh does appear to be asking a lot from the neighborhood and local officials in approving his big new adolescent drug and alcohol rehab facility.
Prolific Treatment Entrepreneur
In the last year or so, Atiyeh has emerged as among the most prolific addiction treatment entrepreneurs on the East Coast and, indeed, perhaps even nationwide, taking advantage of the huge increase in the need for treatment beds as prison systems shift from punishing drug convicts to treating them. The type of business Atiyeh has gone after has almost been exclusively of the state and local government contract variety, in other words relatively low margin business unless you can build scale. And that is precisely what Atiyeh appears to be attempting to do, although with varied success. Atiyeh built a 100-bed facility in West Easton, PA, which opened exactly a year ago and which treats male prisoners from Northampton County Prison with substance abuse issues. But in a major defeat, and no doubt a very costly setback for Atiyeh, a Lehigh County judge earlier this month rejected Atyieh’s plans for a 150-bed rehab facility at former synthetic textiles factory along Route 378 in Bethlehem.
Big 5-Acre Site
And Atiyeh was back before the Bethlehem Planning Commission just last week with a massive and hugely controversial plan to convert a five acre site he owns into various uses from assisted living apartments, a 80-125 bed psych hospital and a drug and alcohol treatment center and detox facility – all of which have been in part shot down by the commission and strongly oppossed by nearby residents. But it appears that Atiyeh will come before the commission for however long it takes until some variation of his plans for the big site are finally approved.
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