Construction on Ogden River townhomes could begin in July in long-awaited project

May 28 2011 - 9:00pm

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Rendering of Ogden River project
Master plan
Alternate master plan
Rendering of Ogden River project
Master plan
Alternate master plan

OGDEN -- A development company that hopes to purchase about six acres downtown from the Ogden Redevelopment Agency could become the first firm required to comply with the Ogden River Project's new master plan.

The RDA, made up of the city council, will consider a development agreement June 14 for the sale of the land to Salt Lake City-based SouthRiver LLC for construction of 69 townhomes and retail space, Jonny Ballard, the city's community development manager, said.

Details regarding the sale price for the parcel, located east of Grant Avenue between 20th Street and Park Boulevard, are still being negotiated, said Ballard, adding he is hopeful construction on the townhomes may begin in July.

Officials with SouthRiver could not be reached for comment regarding its proposed purchase of the property.

However, SouthRiver has said in a proposal submitted to the city and obtained by the Standard-Examiner it intends to make a private investment of $16 million to $20 million in the project.

Work on the development would be the first of its kind in the Ogden River Project that has been on the drawing board since 2002.

The project area encompasses about 60 acres straddling the river from 18th to 20th streets and Washington Boulevard to Wall Avenue.

SouthRiver would also be the first firm required to comply with a new $50,000 master plan formulated by Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates.

The purpose of the master plan is to offer an array of housing types and sizes to accommodate Ogden's population in the downtown area, according to a report from Urban Design Associates. The plan includes numerous design principles that provide:

* An attractive urban environment for a higher density residential neighborhood.

* Development compatible with the Ogden River and parkway with pedestrian access.

* A variety of housing types that will produce higher density mixed use such as townhouses, urban lofts and apartments.

* Open space along the Ogden River with pedestrian walkways and a park on the north side of the river between Lincoln and Grant avenues.

The master plan is essential in ensuring that the development complements the Ogden River and is a benefit to the city, Ballard said.

"It makes sure it's done right," he said.

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