OGDEN -- The owners of the historic Berthana Building will fund about $2 million in renovations to add a trendy night club if the Weber County Commission endorses a proposal aimed at improving the Ogden Eccles Conference Center.
The county commissioners are eyeing the Berthana Building at 329 24th St. as a key component in providing more exhibit and meeting space for the adjoining conference center.
A proposal calls for a skywalk to extend from the second floor of the conference center west across Kiesel Avenue and into the Kiesel Building, said Weber County Commission Chairman Kenneth A. Bischoff.
From the second floor of the Kiesel Building, 2411 Kiesel Ave., there would be access into the adjacent Berthana Building, where an upscale nightspot named the Copper Club would be housed, Bischoff said.
Owners of the Kiesel Building could not be reached for comment on the proposal.
Shane McConnell, of Newport Beach, Calif., said he and two partners, who weren't identified, jointly own the Berthana Building, which was built in 1914. Over the years, the building's second-floor ballroom has been used for various functions, including dances, boxing matches and as a roller rink.
The Berthana Building would undergo extensive renovations to accommodate the Copper Club, including a seismic retrofit as well as the installation of a new heating and air-conditioning system and fire-suppression sprinklers, McConnell said.
A mezzanine would be expanded to enlarge the size of the second floor from about 16,500 square feet to about 20,000 square feet.
The Copper Club, which also would have a restaurant, would adjoin the Berthana Building's ballroom, which would serve as a concert venue. All told, the club and ballroom could seat about 1,000 people, said McConnell.
Linda Huddleston, who is affiliated with the Sports Page sports bar at 455 24th St., would operate the Copper Club, McConnell said. She could not be reached for comment.
In addition to the Copper Club, the Tsunami Restaurant has expressed interest in operating a sushi eatery and steak house on the first level of the Berthana Building, McConnell said. The restaurant already has operations in Salt Lake City, Midvale and South Jordan.
The Lighthouse Lounge, which currently operates in one of the Berthana Building's four retail suites on the ground level, is slated to vacate the premises in March, said McConnell.
Parking for Copper Club patrons would be available along 25th Street, at The Junction complex, behind the Ogden Eccles Conference Center, at the Market Star Building at 2475 Washington Blvd., and on about an acre of property west of the Berthana Building owned by the Ogden Redevelopment Authority, said Tom Christopolus, the city's deputy director of community and economic development.
Weber County's share would be no more than $2 million for construction of the skywalk and other expenses associated with the project, which could be funded through bonds, Bischoff said. The county commissioners will have to hold a public hearing on the proposal if they decide to issue bonds for the project, he said.