Friday, April 27, 2012

Standard-Examiner: Ogden, Weber State Team Up in Opening of App Lab

Sodden Query:  What happened to Ogden Rox?

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.

"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.
Read the full Mitch Shaw story here:
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.

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.
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:
Sodden query, as posed by community activist Dan S. in a comment beneath this morning's S-E story:

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...


Steve Jobs said...

Gotta congratulate the city's business development geniuses for this brainstorm. Mobile App Development! Now there's a hot new up-n-coming business where Ogden can really get in on the ground floor, ahead of Silicon Valley and all them other towns that think they're so high-tech. And it's a business where taxpayer subsidies are clearly needed, seein' as the private sector has yet to recognize the wondrous potential of Mobile App Development! Great use of taxpayer dollars which I'm sure will be multiplied many times over by those 750 jobs paying $80k each.

Smaatguy said...

interesting this is coming out now....over the past few months when visiting the drive-up at Zions on 23rd and Washington I notices some new construction going on....well, now months later we know why....great public communication there coming out of the 9th floor....
is that guy even in town?

rudizink said...

 Dang, dearly-departed high-tech feller... I do believe you've got it right.

blackrulon said...

So Ogden city and the business development branch take over a building that houses a currently operating business. In a building that was previously upgraded using federal stimulus funds. Downtown Ogden is currently home to dozens of empty store and buildings for sale.  Did they even look at another downtown location. The Junction has many places available for rent and or lease but instead the brains have decided to move out a currently operating business and take over and spend taxpayer funds for this purpose. It appears that the new mayor has no better sense than the old mayor.  By the way has he returned the post election campaign donation from Gadi Leesham?

Danny said...

Wait, you mean government bureaucrats are not experts at business, or at picking winners and losers, or at anything other than conning elected officials to spend money on them?

Holy cow, someone should tell somebody.

ET said...

Here is a little backstory on that space that is now rented to OGDEN ROX OUTLET store:

RE: why the store currently know as OGDEN ROX OUTLET STORE is moving
from that great location...........Last week, I was shopping at
RECREATION OUTLET, the store next to Ogden Rox Outlet. I know a lot of the store MGRs there. I asked them
what was up with OGDEN ROX OUTLET STORE. They said that they had heard
that store was MOVING to a new location, in Ogden. But that the reason
for the move was sketchy. This called Ogden Rox Outlet branding default,  was formerly located on Harrison
St. in Ogden, in a discount outlet strip mall, near Grounds for Coffee/
Harrison & 30th St.

Now that I have read the above SE story, I know WHY Ogden Rox Outlet
Store is moving. To make room for the WSU & Ogden City App Store, whatever that will include.

As a lover of good SIGNAGE...........I certainly hope
that O-TOWN saves that wonderful sign, and mounts in on the walls of
this new SMALL BUSINESS TECH CENTER. Just a way to celebrate how many small
business have tried to make it in OGDEN, after the JUNCTION opened on
6.15.2007. Sadly the list of even outdoor sports / health &
fitness-focused small business which tired to locate in downtown O-TOWN
after numerous. Just to name a few: The Summit
Shop; Neidecker Boards; Pelotons' Cafe; Dragonfly Health Foods; Borrowed
Earth Emporium.

To support your local small businesses, if you have not already joined the local FB site for small businesses in O-TOWN, now is when:


ET said...

A recent comment on my post by SE STAFF says:  " The photo caption has been changed to reflect that the building has been
purchased, not the Rox Outlet Store. The store will continue to lease
space in the building."

If the article in the SE is accurate, I would think the WSU Bookstore space would want to be on the ground floor of that building. We will see. It is still a great space.

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