OGDEN — A pair of new businesses want to move into the Ogden Business Exchange, but they first want the city to authorize building sizes that are much larger than what’s presently allowed there.
The Ogden City Council is considering an amendment to its Business Exchange Historical zone that would expand the maximum building footprint for new construction near the old Ogden Stock Exchange building from 16,000 to 60,000 square feet.
Ogden City Planning Manager Greg Montgomery said Enable Industries and Ogden’s Own Distillery are both looking to build facilities at the developing business park, but would require more space than the current ordinance permits. Montgomery said the new buildings would be between 40,000 and 58,000 square feet.
He said the change is necessary to allow for new growth at the park.
“No one (is) really interested in small buildings,” he said. “The interest is in larger buildings.”
The BEH zone, along with the related Business Exchange Industrial (BEI) zone, were created as part of the Trackline Economic Development area in west Ogden in 2015.
The redevelopment project includes 122 acres between 24th Street and Middleton Road from the railroad tracks to G Avenue. Beginning in the 1930s, the area was home to the Ogden livestock yards and was once a thriving economic hub. When the stock yards were shut down in the 1970s, the area quickly grew dilapidated and had been mostly uninhabited until Trackline was established.
The development includes a mix of commercial, manufacturing and light industrial space, including a 51-acre outdoor recreation business park called the Ogden Business Exchange. The park is centered around the historic Exchange building, once the administrative home of the stock yards.
A mix of local and international companies now do business out of the park.
Ogden-based Enve Composites, a manufacturer of high-end carbon fiber bicycle wheels and components, and the Italian bicycle components manufacturer and distributor Selle Royal Company both have facilities at the park. The Roosters Brewing Company operates a 13,000-square-foot production brewery at the park too.
Montgomery said the historical zone was created to assure development adjacent to the nearly 90-year-old stock exchange building would be compatible with it.
“The talk was that the building be the focal point (of the park),” Montgomery said. “The historic character, the art deco design, all of the architectural character and detail. How do you emphasize that building?”
If the new zoning proposal is adopted, Montgomery said the Exchange building would remain at the center of the park and the design and materials that are proposed for the new buildings are up to standard. The only real deviation from current zoning mandates is the scale of the new buildings.
Montgomery said scale, as it relates to buildings in this case, is defined by height, size and distance. He said as the city’s planning commission discussed factors related to keeping the Exchange building the “focal point” of the park, a consensus emerged that allowing bigger building sizes would not diminish that vision. In November, the commission recommended approval of the zoning change by a vote of 6 to 1.
“It’s not really out of historic character to see larger buildings by the Exchange building,” Montgomery said.
Aside from the possible change in building size, all other development standards in the BEH zone will remain in place.
Council Deputy Director Glenn Symes said the council would likely vote on the proposal on Dec. 18.