Thursday, September 24, 2009

Good News/Bad News From The Heart of Emerald City

We'll give you the good news first

By Curmudgeon

There's some good news [and some not so good news] for Ogden in this morning's Standard-Examiner on the business pages:
6,900-square-foot bookstore to anchor new six-story building
Deseret Book's new store at The Junction opens today. It fills 6900 sq. ft. on the ground level of the Earnshaw Building.

While I confess I had been hoping for a general purpose bookstore at the Junction --- an indie if possible [but that was unlikely] or a chain like Borders [not Barnes and Ignoble] --- rather than an LDS bookstore. But it's good for Ogden to have the space rented, and the property generating tax revenues.

The not so good news comes at the end of Mr. Schwebke's story. He reports that the second floor of the Earnshaw building has 7K sq. ft. plus of office space [no word on whether any of it is leased yet]. The ground floor still has just under 10K sq. ft. apparently still unleased. And, the story notes that the top four floors of the building "will have 28 condominiums." Ah, but when will it have those oft promised supposed to have been completed years ago condos to boost residential occupancy at The Junction [and so live-in customers for Junction and downtown business]? The building's owner was just a tad vague on that:

"Earnshaw said completion of the entire building will depend on how quickly the economy rebounds."

English translation: "When will the condos be done? How the hell should I know?"

That was the bad news. Still, the opening of Deseret Books today is a step in the right direction.

11 comments:

Moroni McConkie said...

Anyone know Seadhna J. Flores? He, or she, signed a contract with Earnshaw back in '06 to purchase Unit #402. Earnshaw was selling condos of that size for $184,950. However, an apparent clerical error on the contract specified the sales price as $144,950.

Four months later Earnshaw called Flores to point out the error and demand 185K (less a 5K discount for the trouble). Flores sued for specific performance.

The local court agreed with Flores, but recently the appeals court reversed and remanded. The local court must now grapple with the appeals court's take on issues of "ambiguity." (No news on whether the case has been re-heard.)

One other gem is that Earnshaw used an inappropriate standard form contract applying to properties already built -- not to unbuilt properites still in the blue-sky stage.

Meanwhile, our comrade blogger at UtahCondoLaw speculates that attorneys fees incurred so far add up to way more than the $35,000 price difference that Flores and Earnshaw are tussling over.

And while not wanting to be impertinent, I humbly point out that Earnshaw projected back in July in the S-E that certificates of occupancy were only three weeks away.

googlegirl said...

UtahCondoLaw - "You Wanted a Toilet in Your Comdominium?

ozboy said...

Moroni

It is also of interest that Earnshaw and the Godfreyite dis-information machine made a whole lot of noise back when the building was being built that ALL of the units were sold out!

I went by the on site trailer they were using at the building site as a sales office. The salesman re-affirmed that yes indeed, the building was sold out, but that if I gave them my name and signed a letter of intent that they would make sure I was first in line in case of any cancellations!

The whole scheme was pretty well planned out to give the false notion to the public that the building and the whole Junktion was wildly popular.

Typical Godfreyite lies and manipulations...

Churl said...

Downtown living is greeeeeat; no argument there.

By law I think everyone should live downtown or in the immediate, and start a program whereby we purchase and tear down homes, starting with high-bench properties not having historic designation.
The resulting plots would be set aside as a wilderness nature preserve in perpetuity.

See, they are, everyone of them, all of those happy little houses east of Harrison, eyesores.
All of those great developments out west toward the bird lands: eyesores, everyone of them.

Understand, this is not personal. You have just become outmoded: you, and your whole idea of ownership, and where you can build, and what land is for sale.

The future has arrived, friend. Your ways are soon to become an anachronism. Get used to: less humans by more than a few zeros, implanted communicators, hightech gismos cleaning up the planet, zippy clean-fuel jet cars, no bigotry or want, educated just like JL Picard,...
And, btw, building a home high up on a mountain side, right into what should be protected lands? Not approved by regional/global planners. Its just a bad idea for so many responsible, non-ego driven reasons.

So, dinosaurs of the previous age of liberty at the expense of others survival: I am curious, if one counts the empty ben lomond condos, the 72 new union square condos going up this month, the junction condos,... how many is that?

Do we need more stuff perched up on the hill side like we all had prideful egos the size of Satans Sixpack?

Biker Babe said...

And, the bookstore adds to the earlier touted Shopping that is included in the many activities one can enjoy at the Junction. (before, there was only the FedEx Store ... now you can buy a book and send it off for Christmas!)

just sayin

BB

what will it cost us said...

Look at the condos on 25th street. The third floor was listed as storage so they didn't have to build to code. I observed only one electrical out when I was at an open house. They were built on the cheap and the city had to discount them just to move the property. Great example why cities should stick to providing services and not try to be developers.

I heard that some of the buyers at Earnshaw were trying to get out of their contracts. After all the delays.

If they used the wrong purchase contract the realtor/developer can have a grievence filed against them with the realtor board for fraud.

Curmudgeon said...

I think I need to do a little clarification here: the point of the main post above in re: the Earnshaw condos was that there is, even now, years after the first projected completion date, no date certain on which they will be finished, much less occupied. I was not making a comment about how they were marketed, contract terms, owner/seller disputes, etc. I have zero information about those matters.

The key point I wanted to make, and lord knows in Mayor Matthew Godfrey's Ogden, it needs to be made over and over and over again, was that basing long term plans involving the city on Rosy Scenario's brightest possible hope for how things will turn out is not wise city management. The delayed, and fully abandoned condos [Reid building] of The Junction development are an example, since the design of the project included the expectation that all those relatively high-end condos would be occupied and providing a residential customer base for The Junction's commercial spaces. Didn't happen.

You'd think the experience with The Junction condos would result in a great deal more caution about predicting fabulous results from projects that barely exist at this point as a hope in some developer's mind. [Think of the pie-in-the-sky "sell Mt. Ogden Park to build a flatland gondola" plan of the Mayor's some years ago, and its latest incarnation, the "sell Mt. Ogden Park to build a fancy golf course clubhouse!"]

And that, in the end, is what's at stake in the Council elections. If Hizzonah gets a dependable Stephenson-sleepwalker majority on the Council, Ogden's parklands on the bench will be sold for condo development, Historic 25th Street will have whatever zoning changes his out-of-state real estate developers want passed regardless of consequences. And the new Council will, I'm afraid, buy in again and again to Hizzonah's pipe dream enthusiasms of the moment [40 foot outdoor ice climbing popsicles; velodromes; flatland gondolas, etc.] --- all at great public expense. Despite the fact that his major projects so far have not turned out well. [Ogden is paying off hundreds of thousands of dollars every quarter on the Junction construction bonds that Hizzonah assured us would never be necessary, for example. And the much touted "River Project" is, at this point, mostly a few vacant lots and a slum area.]

You'd think the real businessmen of Ogden --- the ones who run successful businesses in this very city, and who would be out of business in a heartbeat if they ran their businesses as the Mayor does Ogden --- would recognize just how risky continuing to ride the G-Train will be for Ogden City, and for them.

Berman said...

Have a buddy and his wife who just moved out of a 25th Street condo to a duplex in central Ogden. Said not only was condo cheaply built but homeowners association was basically defunct. No security, broken gates, transient infested, faulty wiring, etc.

Alice B said...

Curm

You wrote: "Historic 25th Street will have whatever zoning changes his out-of-state real estate developers want passed regardless of consequences".

I'm sure that you meant to refer to the attempt at doing away with height restrictions that some of the mayor's developer friends wanted a while back. However, I am a bit confused as it pertains to the effort by the friend of Matt's that got shot down in his efforts to get the bars per block rule changed so he could liquor up the old noodle parlor. The council not only shot him down, but his own backer Godfrey did as well. Does liquor trump the FOM position here in Ogden?

Curmudgeon said...

Alice B:

"Does liquor trump the FOM position here in Ogden?"

Beats me. But as I recall, Hizzonah was running for re-election at that point, wasn't he? The strength of his opposition to more bars-per-block may be inversely proportional to the time remaining to his next election campaign [i.e. the less time remaining before re-election, the more he is opposed.]

He's got three years now before the next one and voters have notoriously short memories. I wonder if the more-bars-per-block matter came up now, he'd be as loudly opposed. Possibly. Possibly not. I really don't know.

But it's an interesting question, isn't it?

Jerry said...

Back a few years ago I remember a professor at WS say that "news paper" was a misnomer, they should be known as "history papers" because by the time a story got written, published and on the streets the story was actually history.

In more current times I hear a lot about the Standard Examiner being mired in yesterday and not really publishing "news" that matters to current residents.

A headline on one of today's "news" articles really sheds light on just how out dated the Standard's "news" articles are, it read:

"Big earthquake rattled Wasatch Front 500 years ago"

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