OGDEN — A local developer wants to build a 100-room hotel near the campus of Weber State University.
Jeremy Pope, with Pillar Investment Group, has petitioned Ogden City for a rezone of just under 3 acres of property directly southeast of the 4400 South/Harrison Boulevard intersection. Ogden Planning Manager Greg Montgomery said the proposed rezone would reclassify the property from multi-family residential uses to community commercial uses.
Montgomery said Pillar has been working with WSU on the project and the 3-acre parcel in question is currently owned by the university. The hotel, which would sit just west of WSU’s Dee Events Center and Weber County Ice Sheet, is envisioned to function as on-site lodging for people visiting the school’s campus.
“Whether that’s people coming to guest lectures, parents visiting — all sorts of things,” Montgomery said.
The hotel would also serve visitors to the nearby McKay-Dee Hospital and would be near a stop on the Ogden Bus Rapid Transit route, which according to the Utah Transit Authority is scheduled to be running by August 2022.
Montgomery said the proposal is in compliance with city’s Southeast Ogden Community plan, which guides development in the area. The plan is currently being updated, but Montgomery said the new updates wouldn’t impact the proposal. The Ogden City Planning Commission reviewed the rezone request last month, recommending the council approve it by a vote of 7 to 2. Commission Chair Rick Southwick voted against the recommendation, saying he felt the area was better suited for student housing. Commissioner Jessica Stoker also voted no, worried about the proposed development’s potential impact to a large grove of mature trees on the property.
WSU’s master plan calls for additional student housing to be built in the future at the site of a set of athletic practice fields near the south end of campus. As for the trees, Montgomery said zoning ordinances require that existing trees be preserved as much as possible in new developments. He said that requirement would be addressed when Pillar submits a formal site plan for the hotel.
Jeremy Draper, an engineer working with Pillar on the proposed development, said the hope is to break ground on the hotel by the fall, with construction completed sometime next summer. Draper said the hotel will also likely include a restaurant. The development group has not yet disclosed what company will operate the hotel, but council documents say it’s a “high quality major chain.”
Ogden Council Deputy Director Glenn Symes said the council is scheduled to vote on the rezone on July 7.