LDS Church Considers Ogden Development

LDS Church Considers Ogden Development

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is trying to decide what will go on a block north of its temple on Washington Boulevard.

The church owns much of the property around its downtown temple, and it razed abandoned buildings and houses last fall to possibly make way for apartments, offices, shops or parking for the temple and tabernacle.

"We don't acquire land around all of our temples, but we have demonstrated our interest in the vitality of the area near the Ogden Temple," church spokesman Dale Bills said.

Church leaders were displeased with the deteriorating neighborhood in the 1990s near the temple. The church built a 220-unit apartment complex that has been popular since opening in 1999. It also is updating the facade and landscaping of the temple.

The city has chipped into downtown redevelopment with a new public safety building and transit center, and the Internal Revenue Service built an office building and remodeled another.

Also, the Episcopal Diocese of Utah wants more property around its Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1875. The church has survived by securing a place on the National Register of Historic Places. And the city has no immediate plans for the Ogden River Project, a six-block section north of the Mormon temple and the church's redevelopment property.

The City Council will choose a developer later this month for the property where the Ogden City Mall once was. The master plan for that property includes shops, restaurants, offices, apartments, and theaters in an open-air mall.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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