North Ogden council OKs development agreement for Village

Friday , December 18, 2015 - 10:08 AM1 comment

Doug Gibson

A massive mixed-use development in North Ogden, the Village at Prominence Point, passed a key hurdle with the city council voting 5-0 Tuesday night to enter into a development agreement with Jack Barrett, of Scottsdale, Ariz., representing Meritage Companies, LLC.

If a technical review meets to the satisfaction of the city, ground on the project may break as early as April, said Barrett, who plans to hire a contractor by January. 

The Village at Prominence Point is located at Washington Boulevard and 1700 North. Covering close to 20 acres, the mixed-use project includes 339 high-end apartment homes, including two-bedroom town houses. There are nearly 700 parking spots, 43 bicycle parking stalls, a main park, other micro parks, sidewalks, streets and trails that wind through the community, and retail stores. Abutting the development is a still-to-be-built assisted living center from Canyon View.

The project will entail five phases, said North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor. Commercial will be the final phase and will move forward depending on market conditions. The mayor added that the developer will build a detention basin on the south side of 1700 North. The area planned for the development has largely been neglected. Council members also voted 5-0 to rezone part of the land from Commercial Zone to Master Planned Community Zone.

“This approval of this development follows an exhaustive 11-month review process that involved extensive public outreach and input, including a dozen different public meetings where this project was discussed and debated,” Taylor said.

According to Taylor, North Ogden’s cost to the mixed-use project is $400,000 to contribute toward construction of 1700 North and $100,000 toward a waterline project. The mayor said the total valuation of the project, and a 70-home subdivision — that Meritage is also involved with — is about $125 million. “The developer is putting most of the money (up),” he said. 

“The overall master plan included 70 single-family homes, a 145,000-square-foot assisted living center, and then the mixed-use project,” Taylor said.

Recently, the council visited a development in Sandy as background for what the Village might look like. At the council meeting, every page of the development agreement was scrutinized, with city officials Rob Scott, city planner, and Jon Call, city attorney, frequently called upon. Scott led the council through most of the agreement. 

“You can see the balance that’s in the project as a whole,” Scott said.

Call told council members that the city retains autonomy with the project. “You, the council, approve where the buildings are going to be and what they will look like.”

At one point, the discussion moved to sidewalks and whether they were a good fit for the Village. Taylor told council members that “sidewalks are wider than what we require.” On the sides of the development, a 20-foot sidewalk is planned on Washington Boulevard, and a 6-foot sidewalk on 1700 North.

As they voted after a long night’s discussion, council members shared their thoughts. “What we do tonight is not done without a lot of consideration for what we think is important to the city,” said council member Lynn Satterthwaite. 

Council member James D. Urry called the mixed-used development a sign of generational change. More young people, he said, like to rent, rather than own. “We need to come to grips with that,” he said, adding that he wants younger persons and families to have high-quality apartment options.

“The project is designed to attract ‘lifestyle renters,’ or people who could purchase a home, but who choose to rent for a variety of reasons. Many of these will be young millennial couples who are delaying home purchase more than previous generations, or senior couples who don’t want to care for a yard,“ Taylor said.

A public Facebook group with 1,000-plus members has debated the Village project, and the mayor has responded to some of their positive and negative comments towards the project. Based on comments, reaction appears to be closely divided. Taylor responded to one individual, expressing concern that millennials will choose to live at the Village, writing, “the private market feels there is enough demand to risk about $70 million dollars to construct this project.”

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