Thursday, February 05, 2009

About that building...

This was Catalyst's adventure. I had often wondered about an unidentified single-story building just south of the Hassayampa on Gurley Street. No ID, no activity, nothing to suggest what might go on behind that door. I chanced to mention this in a post and thereby piqued the curiosity of our prime PV blogger.

Next thing you know, he just happened to be in the vicinity and...

I walked down to the building and, lo and behold, saw a man come out the (unmarked) door with a big box which he was struggling to load into his truck. I stood behind him watching until he got it all where he wanted it and turned around. I said I was going to offer to help him but it looked like he had been to that rodeo before.

Then I asked him if he knew what this building was. He responded that it was a "family office." I said something like "so that means it's an office for one family?" He said that it was and in fact was HIS family. My reporter skills apparently convinced him to tell me that it used to be the parking garage for the Hassayampa (and indeed there is a large garage door on the east end of the building in the alley). He said one of the many times the hotel had gone broke, his father managed to buy the building from them and made it his "family office." He didn't seem to be more inclined to tell me what the "family business" was and I wasn't inclined to ask him.

Thank you, Catalyst. A final wrap-up: I checked the county information site and found out that the building belongs to one of the major local ranching families.

9 comments:

worldphotos4 said...

The county site is an interesting tool. Nothing is safe from interested parties.

Tony said...

Interesting comment about "one of the many times the hotel went broke". We are very much in tune with today's financial mess as something special but it actually it's just one of many cycles.

Catalyst said...

It's always interesting to find out what lies behind closed doors!

As for the Hassayampa's financial adventures, one of those times must have been when it changed it's name from a "hotel" to an "inn."

Anonymous said...

A "family office" is a common term for a Wealth Management Office for a family's individual and private wealth.

Let's say that Mr. and Mrs. Doh start a small business and after 20 years it become so successful that a major competitor buys it. (Think LinkSys and Cisco).

Now, how do Mr. and Mrs. Doh manage their newly acquired millions or multimillions? They establish a "family office", and they hire personal accountants, investment portfolio managers, trustees, and maybe an executive director of their family foundation, and such.

The "family office" then frees Mr. and Mrs. Doh up from having to do their own financial matters so that they can focus on their next, new business adventure.... or, retire and travel the world, or contribute their time in the nonprofit sector.

Yes, the doings of a "family office" are kept confidential... just like I would not show people my Excel spreadsheet for my checking account nor my (measly) 401(k) quarterly statements.

That said, now that you know what works in that space, let's hope people respect their privacy and the confidentiality of their private financial affairs.

Anytime I read "family office" I understand it to be a private Wealth Management Office for some successful individuals. At least, that's what "family offices" are in my area of the nation (the Left Coast).

GJ, I'm done now, and thanks for letting me blah-blah.

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

steve -- yes, it's quite a tool for the nosey.

tony -- I recall paved streets and lonely 3-flats standing by themselves out in the Chicago suburb Skokie when I first went to the big city in the late 40s. And those were streets from the booming 20s.

anon av -- points on privacy well taken. I had never heard the term "family office" before -- midwestern naivete.

Lucy said...

Perhaps because I'm reading 'Miss Smilla's feeling for snow' at the moment, but this all sounds to me like the beginnings of some fiendishly clever and sinister plot involving conspiracies, subterfuge and evil-doings! With GrannyJ and Cat pitting their investigative wits against the baddies, of course...

Perhaps not, but interesting with AV's note anyway.

Granny J said...

lucy -- I suspect that your thinking was in my subconscious behind my determination to find about that building! Even as a little kid, I did NOT like unanswered questions; I was known for "why for...???"

DDD said...

How about this addition to the conspiracy (from Wikipedia): "Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow or Smilla's Sense of Snow (original Danish title: Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne) is a 1992 novel by Danish author Peter Høeg. It was translated into English by Tiina Nunnally under the second title for the U.S. market. Another translation, under the first title – ostensibly done by "F. David" – was published in the United Kingdom; it is, however, at heart the same translation as the U.S. version, with various modifications made by the author and his publisher with which the translator did not agree and as a result of which she requested that her name be removed from it. [1]"

Granny J said...

ddd -- thanks for the info; I'll bet my LH, who liked his mysteries set in far away places and/or times, would have enjoyed Miss Smilla. My own weakness is hard SF, including a fair share of space opera.

 
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