OGDEN -- A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday on a parched vacant lot at The Junction complex, signifying the start of construction for a $14 million Hilton Garden Inn Hotel.
The four-story hotel that will have 120 rooms will be owned by Layton developer Kevin Garn.
Western States Lodging of Taylorsville will manage and operate the hotel. U.S. Development Inc., headquartered in Layton, is scheduled to complete construction on the hotel at 2275 Washington Blvd. in June.
Mayor Matthew Godfrey said during Wednesday's ceremony the hotel will provide a significant benefit to Ogden.
"It's filling a need we have in the community to offer a different product for more tourism downtown," Godfrey said, praising the level of cooperation city officials have received from Garn and Western States Lodging.
Garn told a crowd of well-wishers he's confident the hotel will play an important role in Ogden's economic development. He also thanked city council members for approving the hotel, adding they will be proud of the project.
"It will be part of their legacy," Garn said.
David Webster, a partner in Western States Lodging, said his company hopes to work on future development projects with the city, but did not offer details.
Dan Vanzeben, the architect of the hotel, said the structure's design is influenced by art deco and prairie-style architecture that's prevalent in Ogden. In addition to brick, it will be constructed with a variety of high-quality building materials including granite and limestone plaster, he said.
The second and third floors of the hotel will have three king-size suites and three one-bedroom suites. The exterior walls of the suites will be glass, providing panoramic views of the mountains to east and the valley to the west.
There will also be an indoor pool, spa and exercise room along with a kitchen to provide breakfast, room service and catering in three large meeting rooms.
A two-level parking garage with retail space surrounding the structure will be built north of the hotel, Vanzeben said.
The hotel project will be funded using $7.8 million in facilities bonds, $1.5 million in tax increment bonds and $3.2 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits. Garn is responsible for paying the remaining $1.5 million for the project, which includes the purchase of property for the hotel from the Ogden Redevelopment Agency for $750,000.