Monday, April 27, 2009

Ogden Razes Houses for Riverfront Project

Silver-tongued spokesman forBoss Godfrey's broke-ass Leshem "moneyman" insists his client is "working closely with Ogden"

By Curmudgeon

Interesting story up today in the SL Trib today. Here's the lede:
Ogden » Growing impatient with the California developer of the proposed Ogden Riverfront Project, the municipality began demolishing eight rundown houses this week along Grant Avenue.
Most of what's in the story is what the Standard-Examiner reported long ago, but there are a few little tid bits worth noticing. For example, Keith Morey, Ogden's community development manager, said Ogden is hoping to "keep something happening" on the River Project, "for Leshem or, perhaps, another developer." Perhaps another developer? Do tell. Reporter Christopher Smart also noted that:
In January, Morey had said that Ogden was looking for a partner for Leshem so that demolition could get under way.
Ah ha! In January Ogden was trying to find Lesham a partner so the demolitions could begin. It is now April and the city's going ahead on its own nickle. Evidently, no partner was found willing to put the albatross of the stalled River Project around his own neck.

Mr. Alex Auerbach, described as "a spokesman for Leshem," said that "Leshem was working closely with Ogden" and that Ogden was going ahead with the demolition only because it was "more cost-effective" to do it that way. Then, donning his Official Mr. Rogers sweater, and humming "It's a Wonderful Day In The Neighborhood," Auerbach insisted "The city has not grown impatient with Leshem."

And the beat goes on....


ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

I found it interesting that the Trib article did not mention that Gadi is really not the "owner", but instead was just acting as an "agent" for the "real" buyers who are to date secret to their partners - Ogden's tax payers.

This was also kinda funny from the article:

"Auerbach said Leshem was working closely with Ogden and that it is more cost-effective for the city to demolish the structures."

Cost effective to who? Lesham for sure, and also his and the Lil Lord's secret combine who apparently are the "real" owners. Certainly not very cost effective to the good tax paying citizens of Ogden! And how about the bank in the middle of this fiasco, why aren't they being held accountable?

Another thing that is interesting is how the Lil Lord's stories keep changing, apparently with out ever thinking it through and realizing the consequences and further questions that each new lie, er story raises.

Bottom line question on this latest chapter of the sorry assed River Project: If the property in question is really owned by investors and a local bank, and not Gadi, why is that the city does not insist that these "real" owners pony up the money to do this demolition. After all, it was Gadi's desperate financial troubles that was the excuse the city gave for having to step in and clean up the mess in the first place.

This clean up amounts to no less than a free loan to the presumably rich "real" owners that they won't have to pay back until and unless the damn project gets a new life down the road.

Once again the tax payers of Ogden take it in the shorts big time to the benefit of Friends of Matt!

Curmudgeon said...


I wondered about that too. In this story, Lesham seems still be an owner of the property or an investor in the development or both or.... who the hell knows anymore? Who ever did? I wonder if Godfrey does. Or ever did.

Best I can make of it is that the River Project now involves so many partnerships, holdings, companies, understandings and arrangements that it'd be difficult to ferret out exactly who owns what, who owes what, who plans what, and when any of it might happen. In the mean time, the public's on the hook for removing the hazards.

When a failing sit-com loses its time slot and is facing the end, but they still have a few episodes in the can, the sponsoring network often denies, vehemently, that it's getting the ax. No, no, far from it, the line goes. It's just on hiatus. Cancellation follows shortly thereafter.

I think we can safely say at this point that the River Project is "on hiatus."

OgdenLover said...

Ogden City talks big about how the Ogden Marathon brings so many visitors (and their $$) to our fair city. Maybe runners don't have time to look around, but as I walked the 5K last year and looked around, I could see derelict buildings through the trees on my right. As we turned and came down Grant, there were more abandoned houses although some marathon-watchers had brought their lawn chairs and were sitting on the front porches of those houses.

First time out-of-towners may see the bulldozed landscape and empty buildings along the near-end of the route, and think revitalization is just about to happen. Not the second time, I'm sorry to say.

BTW, what's happening with the MallWart?

Randee said...

The bank involved in the River Project, Centennial Bank of Ogden, with Leshem or whomever, is now on the financial chopping block.

This is why Ogden City taxpayers are paying to demolish the houses for unknown investors.

Makes one wonder what the rest of the story will turn out to be.

Chalk this disaster up to Mayor Godfrey and his financial advisors who keep trying to play industrial tycoons with our money.

The River Project should be shelved until our country's financial crisis is resolved.

oldtimer said...

Why haven't we heard anymore from Godfrey's favorite long-courted Ernest Health to come to town?

Godfrey has not courted any person or group that will really deliver anything.

Unless, that is, Ogden subsidizes them and Utah subsidizes them and maybe not then.

We should fire everyone in the Economic Development category, both City and State, close both departments and quite paying too-high salaries to borrow more money for more pie-in-the-sky deals.

blackrulon said...

Isn't the tax bill smaller on a eempty lot that one with a house sitting on it? How many years will a lot have to be empty to save the cost of demolition? Any follow up on the announcement recently tat the IRS was bringing additional jobs to downtown Ogden? What interest is charged on the lein bill on demolition costs? I would think that it would not be that difficult to find out the real owners of a piece of property. Lets actually build something.

summers eve said...

Maybe we should get Short Deck Geiger on the hunt for the identy of theRiverfront owners. He's proven himself to be a great Private Eye, and cheerleader for the Gaggle.

At the very least he could create more distractions and lies.

Godfrey and Bush sitting in a tree said...

Geoege Bush was a developer. Maybe he can give Goofey some pointers of how to undevelope a town...

Oh shit Mayor Goofey already knows how to do that too!!!!

Bush and Goofey said...

They both know how to screw their troops too!!!

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