Ogden council approves sweeping downtown redevelopment plan

A rendering of Ogden's Historic 25th Street by Design Workshop, consultants on the Make Ogden plan.

(rendertaxi/Design Workshop Inc.)

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OGDEN — The Ogden City Council voted Tuesday to approve a new downtown master plan that will guide the development of Ogden's commercial core in the coming years and decades.

The "Make Ogden" plan calls for improvements to the Union Station campus, 25th Street, Electric Alley, the Municipal Gardens and more over the course of the next quarter century. It aims to improve downtown walkability, job and housing density and to increase the area's taxable value per acre by 175% with a combination of public and private investment.

The city, in consultation with urban design studio Design Workshop, had been developing the Make Ogden plan and soliciting public feedback since early 2019.

In a statement, Ogden community and economic development director Brandon Cooper said there will be two "immediate major projects" coming to Ogden as a result of the plan. The first is Wonder Block, a 5-acre redevelopment of the former Hostess factory on 26th Street that was demolished in 2018. A mixed-use commercial project on the north side of 25th Street in Electric Alley will be underway soon as well.

Well, it’s official! ⁣ ⁣ After more than 18 months of planning, revising, questioning, and visioning, the Ogden City...

Posted by MAKE Ogden on Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Make Ogden will be implemented in four phases, or "episodes," with episode one slated for completion in 2025.

Episode one, in addition to the Electric Alley and Wonder Block projects, will involve a reconstruction of 26th Street between Washington and Wall avenues and a renovation of 25th Street from Wall to Grant. The Eccles Conference Center will be expanded, and parking structures will be built at the Wall Avenue FrontRunner station and north of Electric Alley.

The last three episodes will include further street reconstructions and renovations; the redesign and reconstruction of the Municipal Gardens, where the amphitheater will now face to the west to highlight the Wasatch peaks behind it; and major additions and renovations of Union Station in the second episode, with an added museum, train hall and parking structure.

Ogden planning manager Greg Montgomery said the Make Ogden plan includes new design standards for downtown construction. He said such standards have been "severely lacking" downtown and that the guidance will "really get the quality of buildings that should be happening in the downtown area."

The Make Ogden plan emphasizes the preservation of the city's historic assets, key to downtown Ogden's current appeal and a priority raised by several members of the public who commented during Tuesday's meeting.

Cooper said the "future is bright" for Ogden after the plan's approval.

"I am extremely pleased with the approach we took as a design team, the extensive public feedback we received through the process, and the final results of the plan – which received unanimous approval from the City Council," he said. "The impact to the future viability and productivity this plan will have to our downtown over the next two decades cannot be understated. After 18 months of hard work, I am so happy to have the plan approved and am anxious to move forward with implementation."

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Graham Dudley reports on politics, breaking news and more for KSL.com. A native Texan, Graham's work has previously appeared in the Brownwood (Texas) Bulletin and The Oklahoma Daily.


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