LAYTON -- City officials think there is a future for the historic train station downtown.
A plan to transfer ownership of the structure at approximately 200 S. Main St. to the city's redevelopment agency recently received a green light. The plan opens the door for city officials to potentially market and renovate the building. RDA officials also OK'd an accord with the Utah Transit Authority to expand parking near the structure. Both agreements were approved by a unanimous vote.
A key part of the transfer agreement with UDOT includes a provision that the transit authority will fund a 49-stall parking lot on the property, which will service the commuter rail stop adjacent to the train station. That parking lot is scheduled to be in place by Sept. 15.
Bill Wright, director of community and economic development for the city, estimates the train station has a current value of approximately $200,000 but could cost as much as $825,000 to renovate for business use. He has been enthusiastic about the station's future use in the city for some time. A private mixed-use development is currently being constructed just to the north of the station. There has also been discussion of building a large parking structure in the region.
"This is a big asset to the city," Mayor Steve Curtis said of the train station.
The funding agreement with UDOT also includes a fee for the RDA to apply to have the building listed with the Utah Heritage Foundation. Getting on a historic registry means the structure, which was the station for the old Oregon Short Line Railroad, could be put on a historic listing, which would make it eligible for special grants and tax credits, Wright said.
The RDA agreement with UTA involves an encroachment and access agreement, which will realign a fence between the commuter rail stop and the train station. The realignment is expected to add 15 parking stalls to the project area.
Councilwoman Joyce Brown worried the foundation of the historic station might not handle renovation.
Wright said part of any renovation plan will include pouring new concrete under existing beams in the structure as well as relocating utilities to the building.
Councilman Michael Bouwhuis wondered if a historic designation for the building would put restrictions on what can be done to the building, and Wright said it would.