Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is a St. Anne's Land Swap In The Works?

Another baby step step forward toward fulfillment of another twisted Boss Godfrey obsession

In the interest of keeping the discussion moving along this morning, we'll direct our readers' attention to an item appearing on page 2B of the Top of Utah section, reporting that the council adopted an ordinance at last night's meeting which could possibly pave the way for that St. Anne's Shelter land swap, which has been a focus of Mayor Matthew "Blessed Whitebread" Godfrey's obsession for the past several years. Scott Schwebke's opening paragraphs provide the gist:
OGDEN — The city council adopted an ordinance Tuesday night that may enable the construction of a $10 million apartment complex in West Ogden for the homeless served by St. Anne’s Center.
The ordinance, which amends the city’s municipal code, allows low-income multiple-unit housing in manufacturing zones provided it’s part of a campus or in the same building as a homeless shelter.
In addition, the ordinance requires that counseling and other lifestyle services be offered at the campus.
The ordinance is tied to a proposal from Mayor Matthew Godfrey calling for the city to give St. Anne’s about 2 1/2 acres at 33rd Street and Pacific Avenue, zoned manufacturing, for the construction of new shelter, said John Patterson, the city’s chief administrative officer.
Under Godfrey’s proposal, St. Anne’s, in exchange for the Pacific Avenue property, would give the city the land that houses its existing shelter at 137 W. Binford St.
Here's the full Scott Schwebke writeup:
New ordinance clears way for possible St. Anne’s move
Unlike the last unfortunate go-round, Mr. Schweke's story indicates that the St. Anne's board of directors won't be completely blind-sided by a proposal to move St. Anne's and its homeless clients out of sight (and out of mind) this time, although Ogden CAO John "Pureheart" Patterson does frankly admit that this latest effort to whisk St. Anne's off to the Ogden boonies still isn't exactly what you'd call "a done deal":
"St. Anne’s board of directors has not yet agreed to the land swap proposal, said Patterson, who estimated it would cost the organization about $4 million to build a new homeless shelter."
Inasmuch as St. Anne's will need to come up with multi-millions in dollars to build a new facility, logic dictates the query, where will the construction money come from? Sounds like a big nut to crack, for a charitable institution which serves the homeless. But what do we know? We're just a cranky blogger, after all, with a mere 30 years experience in real estate finance. Perhaps St. Anne's has a money tree growing out there somewhere, for all we know.

We''ll therefore continue to watch the St. Anne's story as it develops; but we certainly won't hold our breath waiting for an early upcoming announcement that the City and St. Anne's have entered into a binding agreement.

That's it for now. And yes, we do recognise that yesterday's blockbuster article is "a tough act to follow." But time marches on ineluctably, dunnit?

You're all welcome to chime in with your own 2¢ on the latest manifestion of the St. Anne's topic nevertheless.


cautious donor said...

Let's hope that the current St. Anne's Board of Directors takes a lesson by looking at the financial mistakes made by the previous Board when constructing the present St. Anne's.

They had a guarantor on the loan for the present facility who wound up paying off millions that St. Anne's board had never been able to pay off.

In the current financial squeeze it is very doubtful that a new guarantor will be available for a new construction loan based on that previous history.

Most boards of non-profit organizations are composed of lay people with no background in finance. The members also serve on a temporary basis so that the makeup of the board keeps constantly changing.

And if I were a member of the lending institution's board I would never approve such a loan in today's financial climate.

St. Anne's is not a money-making institution. It servives on support from the public.

Godfrey should pick on somebody else for implementing his Gadi Leshem.

Danny said...

Why not let David Goode pay for it, as partial recompense for the free lake Godfrey gave him?

You know, the 21st Street pond that used to be public, that Godfrey gave away for a bunch of empty promises (oh yeah and a few thousand in campaign dollars.)

It's nice that the local paper repeated those phony promises within the past month in an article that failed to mention that the promises were years old and NONE of the promises has been fulfilled, nor any steps taken toward fulfillment.

It's nice that at least Godfrey didn't get to give away Mashall White, try as he might.

Kim said...

More evidence that Godfrey has lost his marbles.

Curmudgeon said...

Seems to me this is St. Anne's call. If the managers think the move will be in St. Anne's clients' best interests, then by all means, accept the swap. If not, then don't.

One of the reasons, as I recall, that St. Anne's rejected the last land swap deal --- setting up a new shelter out on 12th Street I think --- was that it would have removed its clients to an area a long way away from social services they depended on [which are located downtown] and into an area with minimal bus service. How does the new swap area look in terms of public transit and access to downtown services?

Of course, the City also has to decide the swap is in the public's interest, but it seems clear by the ordinance adopted last night that the Council has decided the swap would be, all things considered. And so the ball is now entirely in St. Anne's court, and it's their call to make.

cautious said...

Dumb call if St. Anne's can't get financing.

Biker Babe said...

Oh, the administration wants to move the homeless out of sight -- but St Anne's has to pay to build their own building. Why doesn't the administration just come up with a contract for the St Anne's people to sign, based on expected grants they haven't applied for/been approved for ... there is already precedent for that ...

The administration wants to trade their land so it can debt-finance another high adventure thingey - The Velodrome that won't fit there anyway.

The administration wanted a Junction high adventure center, and provided tax increments and extensions and bond issuance to finance the building thereof ... because of non-revenue on this venture now the administration is in over its neck in business scrambling to get another (short term) LOC and re-issue the bonds ...

just sayin


Ray Vaughn said...

Why should the mayor really care about the people who use St. Annes? I would bet that there is not a developer or potential campaign donoe among them.

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