Ogden council OKs $2.6M property transfer deal for downtown housing
OGDEN — A land transfer development agreement and associated participation agreement with an incentive for a townhome and multifamily loft development located at 2524 Wall Ave. was approved Tuesday night by the Redevelopment Agency board, made up of Ogden City Council members and the mayor.
The city has reportedly struggled to offload the property, having attempted to sell it 2009 and via a development agreement in 2018 that fell through.
Brandon Cooper, the city’s director of community and economic development, said the land is difficult to develop due to additional costs to meet required parking as well as incorporating an existing retention pond for an adjacent business.
Having had other developers pass on projects for these reasons, Cooper said the city felt transferring the land with a tax increment would make up for extra costs to incentivize development.
Salt Lake City-based developer Highline Partners LLC contacted Ogden City’s Redevelopment Agency in late 2020 proposing development on the city-owned property.
According to city documents, Ogden’s Community and Economic Development Department proposed transfer of approximately 0.71 acres to the developer at no cost with an incentive agreement for a tax increment from the Continental Community Reinvestment Area for up to $2.6 million over a period of 15 years.
Tax increment financing, a post-performance incentive used by the RDA, recoups the tax difference in property value from post-value, which would otherwise go to standard taxing entities.
Cooper said the RDA will present a check to Highline every year with the tax increment, through contract, for developing a project that could not be done through normal market standards.
Jeremy Keele, managing partner with Highline, said the company was looking to create something in line with the urban aesthetic of downtown Ogden when they approached the RDA.
“We’re real believers in downtown Ogden,” Keele said.
The proposed development would finish the 25th Street Union Square Condominiums, built in 2008 but not completed due to economic circumstances, by adding five townhomes.
Highline’s larger project facing Wall Avenue will consist of 116 apartments for rent at market rate. Residents will have on-site parking with the development of a podium-style parking structure.
Keele said the company is creating housing opportunities for those who want to live, work and play in downtown Ogden.
Plans associated with the Continental CRA, created in 2019 to improve and invest in a six-block area downtown, include removing vacant buildings, creating efficient land use, consolidating parking as well as adding “much needed housing units.”
A series of public open houses were held by city administration in early 2018, as to future plans for the area generally bounded by Wall Avenue and Washington Boulevard between 25th and 27th streets.
Local residents, businesses and other stake holders in and around project areas such as the Continental CRA are always publicly informed, Cooper said.
According to Cooper, general consensus from the community was “desirable” when informed of the intent behind the Continental CRA.
“25th Street certainly wants to see things developed,” Cooper said.
Ground is not expected to be broken on the development until spring 2023 as Highline will be working on predevelopment for the next six to nine months.