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Bremerton Towers additional information

August 30th, 2012 by Steven Gardner

Mark Goldberg, lead contact on the Bremerton Towers project discussed Thursday in the Kitsap Sun, returned my call this morning and provided additional details to the story.

1. These will be apartments. “There’s nobody building condominiums now,” he said.

2. The company will build the one tower first, with no definite plans for the second two. The first tower, with 140 residences, is on Goldberg’s property at 510 Washington Avenue. He hopes construction will begin in spring or summer 2013, but there is no firm commitment on that.

3. The property where the second and third towers would go are bank owned. The bank, First Citizens Bank & Trust of Lacey, has a third party on contract to pursue possible development of those towers, Goldberg said. He might be involved in that work, but that’s not certain at this point.

To reiterate something I wrote in the comments section of the story, more or less repeating something from the story, this project was essentially approved by the city in 2009.

To elaborate on that, any proposed project that meets the city’s zoning standards by law has to be approved. It’s why Wal-Mart is in Poulsbo. The city had zoned for a big box years before. Opponents, including a couple on the council, tried to block it by not approving it, but I remember quite clearly Ed Stern making the case that the city is obligated by law to approve a project if it meets the standards the city has set. In this case that decision fell upon Bremerton’s Department of Community Development and it was made in 2009.

Goldberg believes the first Bremerton Tower will be attractive to a mix of renters. The building would be a rare waterfront highrise, which he said doesn’t exist anywhere in the Puget Sound region.

To clarify other issues. Goldberg was not the developer on the project that cost the county and the city money. His condo complex was completely private and was next to the housing authority condo complex. When Goldberg’s project was stung by economic downturn, those condos went to auction.

Goldberg did own the property where the debris was left. As our story explained before, he paid to have the building on site knocked down, had six months to clean it up, said he ran out of money, got foreclosed on at which point the legal responsibility to clean it up went away.

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11 Responses to “Bremerton Towers additional information”

  1. Colleen Smidt Says:

    “He might be involved in that work, but that’s not certain at this point.”

    In the same back door, self-profiting, obscene and bungling way Gary Sexton has been involved in City of Bremerton work I am sure.

    Goldberg has proven that he can’t successfully manage his way out of a paper bag. On the other hand he has proven to be quite the cunning snake oil selling shyster by working gaps and grey areas of the system to legally defer his financial obligations and responsibility onto the backs of taxpayers whenever possible. He has proven that when it comes to ethical responsibility he has none.

    This project may be in code compliance and therefore allowed under city law, but elected and appointed heads who are in charge of crafting such public code policy and watchdogging or red flagging potential abuses before they occur, will roll in the next election if this project goes through.

  2. Ryan Says:

    I live down here, and currently live in a location that Goldberg used to own. A slum lord at best, the apartments might look nice initially, but nothing will get done with them should there be a maintenance is needed, it will fall into disrepair, and Bremerton will have a giant eyesore. Much like the hole in the ground that was filled with junk that stayed for almost 2 years.

  3. lily Says:

    Bremerton isnt doing very good as it is theres a whole building next to their library and shari’s that no one is using its just sitting there empty what a waste at least turn it into something people will use… It needs to be livened up make it a real city people will actually come to to have a good time its just not doing good right now

  4. Ducttapeo1 Says:

    “Goldberg did own the property where the debris was left. As our story explained before, he paid to have the building on site knocked down, had six months to clean it up, said he ran out of money, got foreclosed on at which point the legal responsibility to clean it up went away.”

    That’s a completely bogus generalization. The city attorney, DCD, or the bank could have pushed Goldberg into/petitioned for an involuntary bankruptcy filing under Chapter 11. A creditor’s committee could have been formed and the books examined. The accountant could possibly determine if assets were diverted from the entity, prior to the foreclosure. Most banks prefer to get a “clean” title via bankruptcy/sheriff’s sale.

    This has played out in college towns across the US, when a group of college rental landowners (teachers, lawyers, dentists, doctors) demolish a row, or set of houses, and plan to rezone the area for completely furnished apartments.

    Goldberg was doing this through private financing. My guess is that the bank wished to foreclose and Goldberg et al, and the bank had an NDA about the disclosure.

    Second, your aren’t a forensic accountant (neither am I), so there’s now way you could report Goldberg DIDN’T have the money. That’s so half assed. That’s your opinion, and it should be labeled as such.

  5. Counting Pennies Says:

    Allowing this to happen in light of the past performance by Mr. Goldberg is a FAILURE in management by our mayor, Patty Lent, our DCD Director, Ms. Andrea Spenso, and our City Attorney, whoever he/she is.

    Where was our mayor, Patty Lent when this slumlord was dumping and leaving his abandoned trash around Bremerton? Oh ya, secretly attempting to dump a methadone needle clinic on the folks down in the Callow area. Welcome to Bremerton and please stop by our Gateway to the City and newest tourist attraction. Almost successful in collecting 350 junkies from all over the region into one neighborhood. Basically trying to stab those folks right in the back with drug needles.

    Where was our Community Development Director, Ms. Andrea Spensor? Oh yea, off having a baby and not managing or protecting the citizens interest. Who was running DCD while she was absent while being paid?

    And where the heck were those 9 (or is it 7 now) council members when it was time to protect the city from Mr. Goldberg’s mess? What the heck were they thinking?

    Basically, the citizens have paid handsomely for a mayor, department managers, assistants to those managers, planners, engineers, inspectors, consultants, studies and every other thing they could dream up. Where were all of them? Asleep at the wheel while on large salaries, generous vacation packages, free healthcare and focused more on personal agendas.

    I don’t buy the “it was appoved in 2009″ excuse. That tells me THEY ALL FAILED IN 2009 TO PROTECT THE CITIZENS and 3 years later still can’t or won’t correct that failure. The misdeeds of 1 slumlord that continues to claim financial hardships shouldn’t be that hard to stop when the citizens have already paid millions in salaries to be properly protected. That is what we have a City Attorney for!

    Time to find a new mayor!

    REELECTING PATTY LENT means:
    More slumlords
    More rubble
    More mismanagement
    More backroom deals
    More cost with less services provided

    Basically, more of the same failed management, failed leadership and failed attempts at moving Bremerton forward!

    With a failure this large at so many levels, I keep wondering when Gary Sexton is gonna reveal his nose from under the municipal tent.

  6. RMParker Says:

    The process so far with Mr Goldberg has be frustrating and attempts to clean up his messes from the past very challenging.

    Mr. Goldberg ran from his responsibilities last time and should be put in check this time. The city claim they can do anything is BS. It’s our city, not Mr. Goldbergs.

    Speaking of laws and ordinances:

    Mr. Goldberg, I would personally like to bring our city ordinance regarding nuisance properties and graffiti to your attention. The 510 Washington property you admit you own. Why have you not cleaned the graffiti from the stairway and front parking sign that is showing to public view? You have been notified by the city already. You chose a partial compliance rather than cleaning up all the mess you are responsible for. You are in violation of our city nuisance ordinance as I write this.

    Is this partial compliance what the citizens can expect from you in the futute Mr. Goldberg?

  7. Steven Gardner Says:

    Ducttapeo1, your comment is fine until you accuse me of editorializing. I wrote that Goldberg “said he ran out of money,” not that he did run out of money. Read it again.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Sun

  8. Ducttapeo1 Says:

    No Steve when you stated Goldberg got “foreclosed on at which point the legal responsibility to clean it up went away.“, that’s your opinion and your editorial.

    The truth is that when Goldberg demolished the structure, there WAS an obligation to clean it up. He made the mess.

    The reality is that private non government organizations have been using the nuisance laws to go after polluters. And that’s exactly what Goldberg did, he left it a polluted mess. For you to say he had no legal responsibility, that’s your opinion. The reality is that the government dropped the ball. It should have compelled the bank and Goldberg to clean it up. And since nobody audited the books, it’s an unanswered issue. Nobody is saying where the money went.

    In your opinion, when Goldberg was foreclosed upon, he had no legal responsibility to clean up the property. What law are you citing? What are you referencing? It’s your opinion, based upon your conversation with him. Why didn’t Bremerton roll the dice by filing a suit, and asking a Judge to decide the issue? That’s the question and the issue of responsibility for cleanup.

  9. Ducttapeo1 Says:

    Steve, you are right about the “half assed” comment. I should have been more clear and directed at the city and Goldberg.

    However, I stand by my comment that Goldberg polluted the site and should be responsible for the cleanup, period.

    The environmental nuisance laws have been utilized up to this point to cleanup after manufacturing, auto part strip yards, among other types of hazardous waste business. I seem to remember them being used in a local case with a guy that had several properties and acres of junk cars. I think Goldberg does have the responsibility, and the government assumes that responsibility of forcing him to do it.

    For Bremerton to be fully realized and “redeveloped”, it has to have an identity. It does, it’s a blue collar city with a surrounding shipyard. The endless coats of lipstick make it look like a pig.

    Anyhow, point taken.

  10. Steven Gardner Says:

    Ducttapeo1,

    Now that I understand the other part you’re referencing I see what you’re saying on the editorializing part. I didn’t attribute where I got that info about his responsibility going away. That was from the city.

    I’ll get a second opinion on that, because you may be right on all this.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Sun

  11. Ducttapeo1 Says:

    Seems funny to me that the city and county government didn’t file a lawsuit against the steak holder, Goldberg. He clearly had money in his other projects.

    Yes, the city/county governments were broke. Bremerton initiates a car tab for street projects and will have to wait a year to build up the fund. But they do have money to prosecute a Blind saxophone player.

    The county government is far too busy going after an illegal tree house and prosecuting a Gun Club over “land use”. And that’s after it diverts money from the Veteran’s Fund.

    Yes, it makes total sense that Goldberg was foreclosed upon, and months later after being shamed, the city starts to act. How about the county? They’ve moved on to the regulation coffee stands. (facepalm)

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