Good news for Ogden City this morning, as the Standard-Examiner announces that "[t]he city is teaming up with Weber State University to bring one of the world's fastest growing industries to Ogden." Here's the basic skinny:
Ogden's Community and Economic Development staff has been working with representatives from the WSU Research Foundation to create a program that will develop mobile application software for electronic devices like tablets, iPads, iPhones, and other smartphones.Read the full Mitch Shaw story here:
"With mobile application development, you have an industry that is growing faster than almost any other," said Terrence Bride, Ogden's assistant business development manager. "And it brings with it high-paid jobs. The median salary for these types of jobs in this area is about $80,000 a year."
The program will provide mentoring, training, legal services and even small-business loans for mobile app entrepreneurs.
"We would be taking in those that have a good, marketable concept and provide mentoring and funding to turn that concept into a real business enterprise that employs people," Bride said.
According to this morning's story, both Ogden City and Weber State University will be providing "seed money" to kick start this new business venture, which will be located, judging from the accompanying S-E photo, in the downtown building formerly occupied by Ogden discount retailer Ogden Rox.
The Standard provides further details about the project financing:
The city will kick in $285,000 for the purchase and renovation of a building at 2314 Washington Blvd. Another $145,000 will go into a loan fund that will be used for business loans associated with the program.As regular WCF readers will recall, Ogden Rox was also the recipient of Ogden taxpayers' "seed money" back in September of 2010, when it was one of the first businesses to take advantage of the city's then-new $315,000 tenant improvement loan program:
The city also will be proposing an additional $70,000 in funding in the fiscal year 2013 budget for the loan program.
WSU will also contribute $50,000 to go toward the building.
The funding is contingent on Ogden acquiring a grant, which (surprise of surprises) has not been locked down yet.
What happened to Ogden Rox?
Is there anyone out there in the world-wide-blogosphere who can help us out with this question? Shall we all just treat the original Ogden Rox "seed money" as just more Ogden City taxpayer money flushed down the drain?
Final, final followup question: When if ever, we ask, will these extravagant Ogden City taxpayer subsidies stop?
Update 4/27/12 9:20 a.m.: Over on Facebook one gentle WCF "regular" provides this positive spin: "It seems that the days of the adminstration's treating WSU as an enemy or at least an invisible entity are over."
Good point, wethinks...