Project: Hey Hey Ho Ho Wherry Housing’s Got to Go (NAWSCL)

Ridgecrest, California.

Here it is, everything you want to know about Wherry! What it is, why the 400 unit complex of dingy duplexes and triplexes is still there and why it should be demolished.

It’s true that Wherry is a festering sore in the center of town, but it’s also a blessing in disguise. Let’s call it the China Lake Heritage Opportunity Zone.

The action we propose is called Eminent Domain, and now is the time to for the City of Ridgecrest to do it.

We can think of many reasons why we believe it is necessary to tear down Wherry. The locals don’t call it “criminal gardens” for nothing. In the next few weeks, we’ll bring more attention to Wherry and tell you why it’s the vital key for the future of Ridgecrest and why Wherry’s sordid history is best forgotten. The City and the Navy would rather we forget.

We could ask the Ridgecrest Police Department to give us the play-by-play on the daily action in and around Wherry, but why bother? Wherry is nicely tucked away behind walls with an attractive entry from the parkway to Burroughs. We never have reason to go there or visit. It doesn’t exist, it’s La Mirage. We’d rather not think about it, and where would the money come from anyway?

Wherry also became an ideal playground for housing speculators and mortgage fraud. Did you know that the “condos” in Wherry once traded at $165,000 per unit? Now you know one of the many causes of the Great Financial Crisis. Here’s the backstory from the Miami Herald:

RIDGECREST, Calif. — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene says he had nothing to do with creating the sub-prime mortgage mess that made him fabulously wealthy.

The setting: this remote desert town at the edge of Death Valley. At a project called La Mirage, Greene converted 1950s-era military housing from apartments to 300 condos. In the summer of 2006, just as he was starting to make his bets against the sub-prime housing market, official records show that Greene’s company unloaded the units, some for as much as $165,000. The buyers turned out to be people who never intended to own the properties or pay back the loans.

Local residents, who referred to the complex of single-story duplexes and triplexes as “Criminal Gardens,” were stunned at the sale prices. Even in the midst of real estate hysteria, they seemed over the top.

Seemed over the top? We wonder if a few bodies are buried around Ridgecrest and know the mastermind James Delbert McConville was sentenced to 93 months in prison.

Wherry is a blessing in disguise and we’ll tell you why very soon.

You can check out the Wherry Slideshow here

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