Thursday, February 07, 2008

Walmart: Convenently Located Adjacent to Ogden's Favorite Strip Club

Project site plan sails through the planning commission and is now headed to the Council for approval

Last week we reported on the sudden announcement of the impending arrival in our Emerald City downtown of a Walmart Super-center. The Standard-Examiner follows up on that story this morning with the report that the store's site plan has already cleared the planning commission, and is now headed for the City Council for approval.

This article, which we confess took us by surprise, seems to indicate that Wal-mart officials are bending their backs to design this store in compliance with Emerald City architectural requirements. Even Robert Arrington, a Wal-mart project planner makes comment about standard Wal-mart design, which he candidly (and derogatorily) refers to as the Wal-mart "blue whales" motif:
OGDEN — The Ogden Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the site plan for the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter at 1945 Wall Ave.
The commission heard public comment prior to the vote and queried planners about concerns with waste water, street access, the appearance of the store, landscaping and traffic flow.
The 176,000-square-foot building, which will be built on the northeast corner of 20th Street facing Wall Avenue, will be designed to incorporate architectural elements common in other downtown Ogden buildings, said project planner Robert Arrington, of CLC Associates Inc.
"We’re working with the city to get things done,” he said. “It’s been interesting, some of the things we’ve been asked for, but we’ve complied with everything.”
Design and planning requirements have been more stringent in Ogden than in other cities, Arrington said, adding that this was the sixth Wal-Mart he’d worked on in Utah.
“Ogden’s asking for a little more than what’s normal. It would be good to let them (residents) know, this is going to be one of the nicer ones (Wal-Marts),” he said.
The Supercenter will be constructed with Quik-Brik, brick-colored masonry slabs, with a color scheme revolving around reds and light, dark and yellowy browns. Other construction elements will include columns, upper-level windows and ornamental fencing.
City planners acknowledged the urban design conforms with goals outlined by Ogden for the central business district.
“Thank you for leaving the blue off,” joked one commission member, to a chorus of laughter.
“It’s not going to be like other sites, what we call the ‘blue whales,’ Arrington responded. “It’s going to be specific to Ogden.”
We've already had a few comments about this project in the lower article thread; and we'll move those comments over to this new article, just for consistency's sake.

Today's Std-Ex story also includes a site map overview, showing a giant parking lot, which doesn't exactly conform to our preconceived notion of what a new retail business would look like in a "walkable" downtown area. But what do we know about modern urban planning anyway?

Patrons of Ogden's downtown strip-joint will be delighted, we're sure, that access to the new Wal-mart Supercenter will be located just to the south of the club, providing Northern X-posure patrons with the opportunity for a convenient "two for one" entertainment and shopping experience.

If you'd like to offer further comment on this latest chapter in Emerald City's Wal-mart saga, feel free to do it here.

34 comments:

Dan S. said...

The Walmart site plan published in today's paper is atrocious. The design is 100% suburban, with no recognition that downtown is supposed to be attractive to pedestrians. The building is set back more than 100 yards from Wall Avenue, and pedestrians must cross an enormous parking lot to reach it. Even people who live downtown, or in the planned River Project developments, will have no incentive to walk to Walmart. They'll either drive to it, or (if they're wise) avoid it entirely.

I thought the plan was to connect the river to downtown, and make the river an amenity to be enjoyed by downtown residents and visitors. Now if you're walking the river parkway you'll be looking at the blank wall of the back and side of the Walmart building.

Apparently the mayor has given up on making Ogden unique, and has decided instead to make Ogden into another Riverdale.

Bill C. said...

Dan, in the interests of sound economic development and in an effort to bring all our elected officials back down to ground level and get them to focus on their real responsibilities, I propose that Ogden annex Riverdale lock stock and barrel. If you can't beat em enjoin them.

have some lead with your paint said...

I have to agree with you about the Wal_mart Dan. I noticed that instead of a Blue Whale style, Ogden will be fortunate to have a Big Brown Turd style of Wal-Mart.

The placement next to the great outdoor river path, and especially the location on Wall Ave. and the one way 20th street will make it difficult for the loyal patrons to enter and leave the confines of the parking lot. It will most likely get a lot less businees than they anticipate because of the logistics.

Great planning for our down town master plan? I think not.

Danny said...

Was there a drawing of the new WalMart in the paper (which I don't take)?

Off hand it sounds great - lots of special aesthetic features for Ogden.

I realize that Dan didn't get all he wanted but in politics you take what you can get. Personally both I and Mrs. Donner shop at Wal Mart all the time.

I feel all and all it will be a very large plus - nothing like the usual Godfrey sinkholes.

Curmudgeon said...

All you naysayers.... Clearly, the Wal-Mart site design was chosen to fit in with the Mayor's marketing plan for Ogden: crossing that hundred-yard lot on foot on a busy day will surely count as a high-adventure activity.

Bonnie Lee said...

danny

I don't know how you and Mrs. D can stand to shop at wall mart so much. Who would want to get dressed up that often?

ozboy said...

Who is in charge of the way the Wall Mart will be layed out? Is it the Godfrey gang? Is it Wally World design group?

Maybe who ever is in charge, if it's not the Godfrey's, may not have had any of Dan's ideas put to them?

Maybe some one from some civic organization, or some one with some other public standing, should contact the Wally World guys and see if maybe some citizen input could help mitigate this monstrosity?

But then again there are lots of people, urban planners included, who think of the large in front parking lots as open space that adds to the open spaces feeling we cherish here in the don't fence me in west?

I'm still marveling at the notion that the Ogden area really needs a Super WallMart every twenty five blocks! 1st Street (Harrisville) - 22nd Street - 5900 South(Riverdale) - and now they are also going to build one in West Haven? How many friggen Super WallMarts can one little city take?

dan s. said...

Someone should challenge the numbers they're throwing around about the tax revenue that this Walmart will generate. People aren't going to shop any more than they already do, so it's merely a matter of shifting some commerce from other stores to the new Walmart. Some of that shift will be from Shopko and Sears, which are inside the Ogden City limits. Some will be from the other Walmarts in the area, which are outside the city limits. As a rough guess, I'd say the net benefit to Ogden and Ogden schools will be only about half what they're claiming. If Walmart puts Shopko or Sears out of business, then the net benefit could be zero.

Curmudgeon said...

Some time ago, Our Mayor was insisting he regularly tried to keep council members informed of administration doings, but that he could not really force them to stay in touch with him. Well, I know of at least one Council member who got their first inkling of what Wal-Mart and Hizzonah planned for the downtown site by reading it in the SE today. No heads up from the Mayor. No keeping at least that Council person informed. Worth remembering the next time Hizonnah starts whining about the Council refusing to let him keep them informed.

I wonder how many other Council persons first learned of the Wal-Mart site plans by reading the SE this morning....

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

Well, as the plans are now [recall Mr. Lesham's condo haven planned for the river project area and Mr. Reid's and the proposed condo/hotel attached to the high adventure wading pond], presumably the population of downtown will increase substantially, thus providing more [and new] customers for Wal-Mart. Whether all those up-scale condo owners we're told will be flooding into Ogden any day now consider Wal-Mart their store of choice and will be hopping into their Beamers and Humvee's to drive two blocks to browse the aisles remains to be seen.

I too wondered about the possible impact of the Wal-Mart on Ogden's Shopko [my downmarket mass marketer of choice since I don't have to fight Riverdale traffic to reach it. And the taxes stay in town.]

Dare we hope the SE's new editor overseeing Ogden municipal government reporting will set someone to poke at those promised tax numbers, ask some questions? It could happen....

zabo the magician said...

curmudgeon

Want to bet?

Tec Jonson said...

I, for one, will proudly do some basic shopping at Wally's and take a gander at the action at NorEx while in the vicinity. That's convenience. Maybe NorEx will do a little QuikBrik upgrade so as not to be the sore looker in the neighborhood.

Curmudgeon said...

Zabo:

No.

dan s. said...

Tec,

Sorry to break the news to you, but Leshem now owns the Northern Exposure building. My understanding is that their lease runs out around the end of this year, and I very much doubt that the lease will be renewed.

brass pole said...

Dan, maybe the Northern Exposure lease will be renewed by the State of California when Gadi goes to the pokey and the State takes ownership of that property.

Bill C. said...

If Walmart actually does sell at lower prices,( not actually verified) and they just succeed in luring business from other local merchants,(with Walmarts surrounding Ogden it's quite doubtfull they can draw folks into town) there is a reasonable argument to be made that the tax revenues will actually decrease, taxes based on percentages of sales.

Bill C. said...

Tec, it's been rumored that Tom Moo.. Cavendish, will be taking over the Northern Exposure.
Young scantilly clad ladies adorned with tassles and pasties will be replaced with hairless adolescent males, in fancy jock straps and Boy Scout neckerchiefs.
This is being done to accomadate the international high adventure seeking, well moneied types that will be lured to the secluded, lavish, decadent retreat Perterson plans to build in Malans Basin.
It appears that "high adventure"
lacks any specific definition and fits nicely into many catagories. This represents the true genious of lying little matty's branding of Ogden.

What will it cost us said...

I read this article a few years back and it shows how Wal-Mart tries to bully the newspapers when it runs a not too flattering article, censorship and threats. Also states the cost for Georgia health care.

Hanging Tough in Pensacola

Bill C. said...

Curm, can't you stick to a topic? This thread is about the holy union of two great American institutions, strip clubs and Walmart.
I like Neil alot and wish him nothing but success in this legislative session, but lying little matty's mandate,(less than 50 votes) means that Ogden City will not be lobying for changes in election law any time soon.
We've got gondolas and Wallmarts that will require the utmost massaging of RDA princiles and well disquised sources of public funding that need to be channelled to private developers so they can get loans to begin their private projects. Lying little matty only has 4 more years to attain these objectives, election law changes will not help us this cycle.

RudiZink said...

LOL, Bill! By the time you made that last comment, we'd already promoted Curm's post as a main article.

"This thread is about the holy union of two great American institutions, strip clubs and Walmart."

Exactly right!

;-p

big momma said...

Someone should make book now to let us bet on how much revenue Wal-mart actually brings to Ogden's General Fund versus how much revenue Stop and Shop and the 25th Street stores lose because of it when the actual figures start coming in.

I plan to change my route in and out of Ogden when Wal-mart arrives so that I do not have to go near Wall Avenue. So that means I will not be patronizing 25th Street at all.

The simplest thing is to stay on 1-15 and wind up in Salt Lake or Logan. Better yet - Las Vegas - and forget how to get back to Ogden.

Why would anyone who wants to buy anything other than skis or a bicycle wind up in downtown Ogden -- unless they are lost.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

I think Mayor Godfrey's mandate was more than 50 votes, Bill. More in the 400--500 vote range or thereabouts as I recall. Not much of a mandate, given the total number of votes cast. But then, he is a Republican, and they tend to read one-vote margins... or even less --- as mandates for radical alteration even in such things at the Constitution. Recall, our present Dear Leader, George W. Bush, polled 500,000 less votes nationwide than Al Gore, yet interpreted that as a mandate to radically alter national policy and executive power, and to double the national debt in less than eight years time. Running up huge public debts while preaching fiscal conservatism is, after all, what Republicans do when they reach office. Any office. Very nearly any Republican. It was, remember, St. Reagan who damn near tripled the national debt in his eight years in office. Godfrey's simply running true to type.

On this general topic, very good op ed piece in today's SE by Steve Olsen [a Weber County Democrat, of course]. Here's the headline:

Massive deficit is a deferred tax our children and grandchildren will pay

Link to the story is here.

cruisin' said...

big momma, honey -

you plain forgot about Northern Xposure being right adjacent to the parking lot.

I can send my live-in to Wal-mart to get the things on our list while I check out the guys at Northern Xposure.

Then he can take his turn at Northern Xposure while I go back to look for something he forgot to get.

This brings Ogden up to South Salt Lake standards for cruising.

Whatta deal!

Bill C. said...

O.K. Curm, a slip of the key board, it was 449 votes to be exact. Curm, why is it that every republican President feels his term is wasted unles he goes after some one with the military? I mean Regan trippled the debt and all he foufgt was a student uprising on a Carribian island.Now here we are with Bushes evangelical zeal going after anyone that bows to Mecca.
Oh, off topic, lets just say Walmart causes price wars and most good strippers don't wear birkas.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

Republicans like overseas adventures, especially long and only marginally successful ones --- remember how the same guys now singing Bush's praises went after Clinton for the American involvement in the Bosnian war, which was (a) successful (b) cost zero American combat deaths and (c) was short in duration? --- for two reasons:

1. To take public attention from other Republican disasters elsewhere. St. Reagan launched his highly successful invasion of the powerful nation of Grenada just after the attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon that killed so many, and his decision to cut and run from Lebanon. Had to give the proles something else to look at and cheer about. Grenada was it. And we won!

2. To take the public's eye off Republican economic disasters. Appeal to patriotism ["We're at war!"] to make criticism of the government and the party that run's it appear unpatriotic. [Lot of that in the Bush administration over the last five years, in case you haven't noticed. "Pay no attention to the ballooning national debt; pay no attention to the growing income gap; pay no attention to the ever rising number of Americans without health insurance; ignore the fact that those I chose to advise me on energy policy and business regulation are crooks and are going to jail --- Enron, etc; ignore corruption in my own administration. We're at war! Criticizing me is unpatriotic!"]

That's why, Bill.

Bill C. said...

Thanks Curm, but you forgot to mention Walmart or strippers.

Tec Jonson said...

WalMart and Strippers, UMMMMM

ozboy said...

Curmudgeon

One correction on your above dissertation - There was an American Navy pilot that was killed in the Bosnian conflict. An F=15 was shot down, one pilot was killed after being captured and the other was eventually rescued.

Tec Jonson said...

Another off topic now that I have mentioned WalMart and Strippers...again


Municipal WiFi. We were supposed to be getting MuniWiFi last summer in downotwn starting with the Salomon Center from XMission or ReliaNET or some local ISP.

Anyone know what's happened to another of Godfreys big claims for downtown.

ET said...

It was XMISION to wifi downtown Ogden.
Here is press release from Xmission site, 4.19.07:

XMission Unvels Plans for Free Wireless Service in Ogden.

In Pete Ashdown's blog, from 1.24.08, Ashdown laments that he will be shutting down all of his free wifi in SLC, because of Utah House bill 139. The comments logged into this blog explain why Ogden will not get free wifi from the wonderful XMission Pete:

"The End of Free XMission Wireless":

So we have to write REP Brad DAW for introducing such a stupid bill.

RudiZink said...

Thanks, ET; you beat me to the punch on this response. As you can see, I've reposted your missive, adding clickable links.

Bill C. said...

I do believe there is more freedom and common sense in Hilldale than all of Utah County.

Curmudgeon said...

Oz:

OK. I stand corrected. Do you have a source for that? Teaching post WWII history next term, and I like to be able to source things for students, if they ask, and I don't have a source for the two casualties total. Appreciate any source you can pass on.

Tec Jonson said...

So now some of Godfrey's own moral cohorts are responsible for the elimination of one of the services that would make Utah metropolitan downtowns attractive to visitors and future residents. Can Utah shoot itself in the foot any more.

Thanks for the links to this sad news.

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