Opinion by Matt Marquardt –
So this hotel development in downtown Mason City has always kind of irked me.
Ever since Eric the Mayor and his sleazy media (Globe, KIMT, radio) lied two years ago and said a (Hilton) hotel was set to break ground in April of 2014 in a parking lot next to city hall, I’ve always thought “something’s wrong here”.
We all know why these characters desperately lied to us, smeared people’s names, cut their own pay, intimidated folks, and hid like rats in a sewer. That’s their documented history now, and will follow them henceforth. Enjoy the fallout, idiots.
But, the past is the past, and the present is the present. And right now, we are still being told a hotel will be built downtown, as part of a $36 million plan along with four other projects, including an ice arena, parking ramp, music pavilion and a mixed-use building. The great news is that we are told the taxpayers won’t pay for this… but as I said earlier, we’ve been dealt with and marginalized like meaningless peasant rabble before. Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.
As I reported last week, G8 Development is tasked with seeing this hotel through. Either the main (only) man there, Philip Chodur, sells Marriott Hotels on this project, or he does not. If he fails, this so-called “renaissance” five-project development likely goes into the crapper like a stomachful of half-digested Moscow Mules.
Knowing that so much rides on this man – almost a mystery man to us common folk who are left out of the loop by city hall – gives me motivation to find out more. Yes, I already reported that Mr. Chodur is busy suing the city of La Vista, California at this time. His development deal in their historic downtown, involving parking ramps, mixed use properties, loss of parking spaces, etc, turned sour. Therefore, he is suing that community for undisclosed damages. He is gobbling up properties in our downtown, meanwhile, even as the wheels connected to our deal are in motion, moving parts are slapping each other everyday like balls in a lotto drawing. No one knows if Marriott will really decide to build here in Mason City. Yet, his connection to Mason City and dependence on this deal to play out favorably is growing.
Mr. Chodur seems to be betting that yes, Marriott will build. He and his company, G8 Development, will try to sell the plan to the hotel giant, with the help of city officials and a multi-million dollar parking ramp about to be approved by the city council.
But alas, what do we really know about Mr. Chodur and G8 Development? After all, he’s a big player in this deal – maybe the biggest – along with out-of-work-snowcone-loving Eric and Alex Kuhn, maybe the only honest guy in the room. (He’s part owner of the biggest construction company in town, now, you know, Henkel Construction.)
Well, for starters, the California Secretary of State shows the address of G8 Development at 7626 El Cajon Blvd. in La Mesa, California. The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce lists the same address – so, that matches.
Being the persistent individual that I am, I decided to call over to G8 Development today and find out what’s going on with them. Kinda shoot the breeze, if you will. I spoke with a friendly gal there, “Ann”. She explained that their offices are in a residential home at 7626 El Cajon Blvd, not the creepy used car lot next door. Cool, I thought; I can dig working from home, since I do that, too. She said they are working on “several” other residential projects (it sounded like single homes) and we didn’t talk about the lawsuit in La Vista. She couldn’t comment – as she had no knowledge of the progress – of talks between Mr. Chodur and Marriott Hotels.
Next, I search out the address 7626 El Cajon Blvd., and came up with “Deluxe Trailer Park” in La Mesa. Hmm, same address as G8. The trailer park has a (different) phone number, too, so I called it. Ann from G8 picked up the phone, but this time her name was “Angela”. We had a good chuckle about this odd circumstance, how I was calling a trailer park and what do you know, the same number goes to her phone at G8. “Yep, they all go to me,” Angela said. She explained that the house G8 Development does its work out of is tucked inside the trailer park, which Mr. Chodur also owns. (See the attached map with this story, showing the layout).
From what I gathered, Mr. Chodur is a solitary man, running G8 Development, with a few employees, maybe up to four of them. He owns a trailer park, where his G8 office is located. His website has a special page named “Mason City Marriott” apparently just for us – but there are no other words on the page.
More to come on this developing story.