Friday, November 18, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Riverbend Project Not Dead... Yet

Another attempt to assist our lame-duck mayor in exiting the public stage in a contrived and revisionist "blaze of glory?"

This morning's Standard-Examiner carries a story this morning reporting on the current status of the still-moribund Ogden River Project, which according to our calculations has been on the City's "drawing board" for over eight years. The project's "still alive," announces this morning's SE headline; and this morning's lead paragraphs provide what we'll characterise as "classic" Godfrey Administration optimism:
OGDEN -- The city is continuing to negotiate with a Holladay company for the construction of housing and retail businesses within the long awaited mixed-use Riverbend development formerly known as the Ogden River Project.

Millrock Development LLC is working with Gadi Leshem -- whose firm, Ogden Riverfront Development, is the main owner of Riverbend property -- to be the major partner in the project, said Jonny Ballard, the city's community development manager.
Lower down in Mr. Schwebke's story however, Mr. Ballard hedges more than a little bit, or so it seems to us:

Ballard is hopeful the city can obtain a memorandum of understanding by the end of the year with Millrock to begin work on the project.

"If something doesn't happen by the end of the year, it could be on the table for a while," he said.

So we're not quite sure what to make of Mr. Ballard's "soft" end-of-year deadline. Does Mr. Ballard mean to imply that our newly-elected Mayor, Mr. Caldwell, can be expected by the Godfrey administration to "drop the ball" on this project after he's sworn into office on January 3? If the City Council fails to ratify a Millrock Development LLC development agreement, will Godfrey's "A" Team consider the River Project Game to be over? Does this language foreshadow an upcoming last-ditch Godfrey crony development agreement proposal which will truly sell the River Project (and the beleguered Ogden City taxpayers figuratively "down the river?"

Nor are we clear about the Standard's rationale for running this "no news" story at all, unless it clumsily dovetails with yesterday's WCF topic, i.e., the apparent ongoing attempts of Boss Godfrey and his lemming-like followers to put a "positive" spin on Godfrey's accomplishments and to assist our lame-duck mayor in exiting the public stage in a contrived and revisionist "blaze of glory."

Here's the full SE story for our readers' inspection:
We're spotlighting this story this morning, by the way, mainly for archival consistency, since it really doesn't reveal much of anything new. It's not entirely devoid of useful information, however, in which connection we link this handy SE "Riverbend Project Timeline," which is embedded in the article page within the Standard's hard-copy and digital editions:

This is helpful information, we think, for those folks who might need to refresh their memories about just how very long the Ogden River Project has actually been left simmering (mostly unattended) on Boss Godfrey's back burner.

It's even more helpful, wethinks, for those mis-guided souls who might be tempted to embellish our outgoing mayor's "achievements," as the little "Wizard" behind the "Emerald City Curtain" prepares for his final curtain call.

The floor's open for our savvy readers' comments.

So many questions... so few answers...


BikerBabe said...

something needs to be in that timeline in re:
year folks were evicted from their homes
year homes were boarded up and high fences put in
year many homes were set on fire
year those eyesores were FINALLY torn down and the land cleared.


blackrulon said...

If Mr. Leesham sells his property to a new developer will the city recoup demolitioin costs and back taxes from the sale of the property?

Danny said...

There was supposed to be a lien on the property for the demolition.  That was explicit.

Whether it was signed away lately, is a question of what Gadi Leshem has done for Godfrey lately.

I'm surprised Curm hasn't weighed in yet, pointing out that here we have another non-news article from Schwebke.  As one reads it, what exactly is being reported, other than that after 9 years the project is still alive and in endless limbo?

Thanks Matt.  Your high paid staff is clearly worth every dollar we have spent on them.

But I thought one part WAS moving - the part where the city gave away several acres for construction of a high density ghetto.  What, is that on hold too?  If so, for that much we can be grateful.

Wants to know said...

I just want to know who is holding the development agreement for whole development area. If it's Millrock or Gadi's company and we don't have an agreement them then it begs the question as to if there is any organized plan for the area.

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