OGDEN — Demolition on the old Fred Meyer building was supposed to begin by the first day of August, but it’s October and the Ogden eyesore still stands, untouched by a wrecking ball.
But city officials say although there’s been a delay, rest assured, the building is coming down.
In June, the Ogden City Council approved a plan to give then building owner BV Maple Holdings Utah, LLC (a subsidiary of Ball Ventures, LLC) a $100,000 loan that would be used to cover a portion the demolition.
The loan agreement stipulated that work to tear down the the 150,000-square-foot former retail center had to begin on or before Aug.1, otherwise BV Maple would be required to repay the loan with accrued interest at five percent.
But in a Tuesday city council work session, Ogden’s Community and Economic Development Director Tom Christopulos said that between the time the council approved the measure and when demolition was set to begin, BV Maple sold the property to Seaboard Development, LLC.
In other words, BV Maple sold the property to Seaboard after negotiating the agreement with the city, but before carrying it out.
Seaboard is the development arm of IASIS Healthcare, a for-profit operator of smaller-scale, acute care hospitals in growing urban and suburban markets. The company plans to build a hospital at the site, which sits at approximately 200 E. 12th St.
In a regular council meeting that followed the work session on Tuesday, the council approved a common consent measure that approves giving the $100,000 loan to Seaboard. The terms of the deal are essentially the same, except now Seaboard has until Nov. 30 to begin demolition.
The company must also have a new structure built on the site by Nov. 30, 2018. If those terms are not met, the city loan must be paid back with five percent accrued interest within 30 days. The interest rate goes up to 15 percent if the 30 day deadline isn’t met.
At the work session, council member Neil Garner relayed concerns he’s received about the city giving a loan to a for-profit hospital. Garner works as a department manager at Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit healthcare system.
“The issue isn’t about for profit or non-profit,” Christopulos said. “It’s whether we get an economic gain from the property.”
Christopulos said the hospital, which is taxable, will help create future development. The city estimates that the site will generate additional $112,700 in property tax revenue and $30,000 in sales tax revenue every year beginning in the next 5 to 7 years.
The city says the new development will also generate revenue through fees associated with business licensing, utilities and building permits.
The council approved the new loan agreement by a vote of 5-0. The loan will come from Business Depot Ogden lease revenue funds.