OGDEN — Spend enough time in a city, and it starts to grow on you. But as Anna Davidson is learning, along with many others, that city can also grow with you. As co-owner of Jessie Jean’s Cafe on 25th street, she’s hopeful a redevelopment plan, approved by the City Council, will bring more people and more business to the downtown area.
“I think if we could bring some diversity into downtown, that’s living here, it would be awesome,” Davidson said. “I hope that they actually get it done faster than what they’re saying because I feel like that could be a nice surge into the downtown.”
The 51-acre Continental Community Reinvestment, between Washington Boulevard and Wall Avenue and 26-27th Street, is now part of a tax increment district, meaning increases in tax revenues that come as a result of growth will be put back into the area as a further incentive for more growth.
The first phase of the redevelopment will include about 350 market-rate apartments, retail, and office space in the area where the Hostess factory once stood.
“No one wants derelict buildings in the middle of their downtown, especially across a five-acre site,” Ogden Deputy Director of Economic Development Brandon Cooper said. “We were really motivated to buy the building once Hostess vacated it and it was sold to another company. We weren’t really interested in seeing the building re-used as a factory.”
Cooper said the existing Hostess storefront will be preserved, and ultimately be renovated for a future business.
Davidson said she’s happy to see some of that history preserved while, hopefully, getting a future boost to the local economy.
“Still got the small town feel, but I think it’s got the opportunity to have new and upcoming things and not lose that feel,” Davidson said.