OGDEN -- A deal that will give $100,000 to a local developer to demolish a set of blighted buildings and replace them with a 7-Eleven has been approved by the city council.
In hopes of stimulating growth and removing a large patch of urban blight, the council voted earlier this week to approve an agreement between the city and Wright Development Group, LLC for the purchase and redevelopment of 0.85 acres of land on the southwest corner of 17th Street and Washington Boulevard.
The site has been home to the old Pepsi bottling warehouse and most recently an indoor skate park.
The buildings at the site are now vacant and have become dilapidated, leaving an eyesore at the gateway to Ogden's Riverbend development and downtown area.
As part of the deal, the city will appropriate $100,000 to Wright, which will purchase the land for the current owner, B&N Properties.
Wright will then be responsible for demolishing all of the vacant buildings and removing all of the other blighted aspects of the property.
The $100,000 incentive, which will pay for preconstruction costs, will come from the city's general fund and be paid to Wright over a period from 2014 to 2019.
After Wright purchases the land and demolishes the buildings, the developer will lease the site to 7-Eleven.
Brandon Cooper, senior project manager for Ogden, said the project will provide many benefits to the city beyond just the removal of the old, rundown buildings, which the city estimates would cost more than $300,000.
Ogden's Economic Development Department estimates the project will increase sales tax, increase property values and property tax, create 30 to 50 temporary construction jobs and eight to 12 permanent jobs, and will serve as a catalyst for additional development.
The proposed budget for the project shows that actual revenues to the city over the five-year reimbursement period will be approximately $96,000, meaning the demolition of the vacant buildings and removal of blight is essentially free to the city.
In accordance with Ogden city's subdivision ordinance, Wright will also be responsible for paying back taxes owed to the city by B&N Properties, which has been delinquent on property taxes since purchasing the property more than two years ago.
The council approved the deal by a vote of 6-1.
The lone council member to cast a dissenting vote was Amy Wicks.
Wicks said that while she is aware the deal will likely help remove some blight from Ogden, she couldn't support the deal because she didn't believe 7-Eleven is the ideal catalyst for development.
She also mentioned that just months ago, work began on a Maverik gas station at 28th Street and Washington Boulevard, the site of an old Dodge dealership.
That deal also required the demolition of an old building, but Maverik Inc. didn't receive an incentive from the city.
"I have a real hard time giving somebody $100,000 to develop a 7-Eleven when we have somebody else just down the road, who on their own dime, demolished a building and built a convenience store," she said. "I can't support putting the funds toward a development that ultimately ends up with just a convenience store on the corner."
The project should be completed by late summer 2013.