Monday, September 26, 2011

Paradise Lost! Westgate City Center development thankfully collapses under a pile of bills.

  Too beautiful for this world!  All beauty fades eventually and every dream must end.  And stuff like that.

Rebekah L. Sanders over at the Arizona Republic reports that another bloated, gaudy consumer/workers paradise has lurched into bankruptcy and repossession.  This isn't the first one in Phoenix since the crisis began to get into trouble and it probably won't be the last considering where the economy is headed.  But if you've ever been there, you'll know that this place in particular is hilarious.

I used to deliver there for work and it was big on this artificial, corporatized "live, work and play" nonsense.  "I can see my loft from here," said the giant wall-sized youths on the signs, conveniently plastered over the windows of empty, dust-gathering chain stores. This place was a cheap corporate facsimile of a copy of a sketch of the old neighborhoods of old, just with everything that made those kinds of neighborhoods interesting and worth living in stripped out.

With the piped in easy listening mall music reaching up to the balconies of the "loft-style" apartments, surrounded as they are by one crap corporate chain after another and their zombie-like patrons most days, Cardinals fans eight days a year, and shitty arena rock douches on the other weekends, I often wondered just what kind of crap demographic they hoped to attract, and just how they intended to cut them down from the balconies before 10 AM business hours when they finally were overcome by the vacuousness of their surroundings and hanged themselves.

Good riddance.
Part of Glendale Westgate City Center repossessed by lender
The developer who launched Westgate City Center, the landmark sports-and-entertainment complex that helped transform Glendale, has officially lost ownership of the major part of the development.
The core of the Ellman Cos.' project, outside University of Phoenix Stadium and Arena,was repossessed Monday by the lender, iStar Financial, after it failed to sell at a foreclosure auction for a reserve price of $40 million.
The 33-acre property, which features restaurants, shops and an AMC movie theater along with Bellagio-like fountains and Times Square-style billboards, was designed as a suburban sports, entertainment and commercial hub to rival downtown Phoenix.

The remaining land owned by Ellman Cos., 95 acres of mostly parking lots slated for future development, is scheduled for foreclosure auction in November by lender Credit Suisse.

The auction is the latest blow to Glendale's prestigious sports district and another example of how the city has been shaken by the economic downturn.

The Phoenix Coyotes went through bankruptcy two years ago and still have no permanent owner. Now Westgate, at Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue, has been taken away from Steve Ellman, the city's development partner for more than a decade.

Westgate's opening in 2006 was like a launch party for the West Valley, with excitement brimming about the region's future as the flashy complex rose out of farm fields.

The Coyotes played next door, and the Arizona Cardinals had just moved in nearby.

Ellman, the chief executive of the company, called Westgate his favorite project.

At the time, a planning expert had cautioned the project was a gamble that relied on synergy between sports fans and shoppers.


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