Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Steve Ellman, Entrepreneur

The following is taken directly from Steve Ellman's website:

"Steven Ellman has been Chairman and CEO of The Ellman Companies since the company's formation in 1972. The group today consists of more than 88 privately held companies.

Ellman has been designated by the Phoenix Business Journal as the number one commercial real estate developer in Phoenix four times since 1998.

Ellman's flagship Westgate City a super-regional mixed-use urban development...

Upon completion, Westgate will include up to 8 million square feet of retail, restaurants, entertainment, office, residential and five hotels...and is expected to attract 26 million annual visitors..."

This only confirms my long held belief that you can write anything you want, no matter how unlikely, and someone somewhere will treat it as the Gospel and base their entire future around it.

In this case, the someone is the mayor of Glendale, Elaine Scruggs and her cohorts on the Glendale City Council. They made the choice
more than a decade ago to get in bed with Ellman and Westgate. At that time he was also part owner of the Coyotes, who were looking to move out of downtown Phoenix. And in the fever dreams of the Big Time that kept Scruggs awake nights it all seemed so easy: the Cardinals' Stadium surrounded by the promised Bidwill commercial development, the ( Arena for the Coyotes, and Westgate too!! "Take that Phoenix! Take that Scottsdale!! We'll show them! Someday it'll be Governor Scruggs or even Senator Scruggs!"

Unfortunately, as the song says "life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Even "Big" plans. Turns out the Bidwill's couldn't develop a cold in a snowstorm, the Coyotes cost Ellman's one time partner Jerry Moyes (the one with the money) more than $300 million before he finally cried "uncle!", and now, as the cherry on top, Westgate is in foreclosure.

That's right, the cornerstone project of the Ellman companies, the crown jewel, the real estate engine behind all of Elaine Scruggs' plans and promises to the citizens of Glendale for the past decade, is being taken over by the banks. And the tax payers of Glendale have to hope that some white knight rides into town to save it--and them. Just like in the fairy tales...

I'm not sure what to make of Steve Ellman, Entrepreneur. The Latin phrase Caveat Emptor immediately come to mind. Also PT Barnum's
words of wisdom about suckers and the frequency of their births. Then again maybe Steverino has just had a run of bad luck...

However I am sure about one thing: there ought to be a law that makes it a crime for snake oil salesmen to take advantage of simpletons.

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