Ogden, UTA still gathering input for planned development near FrontRunner station
OGDEN — The Utah Transit Authority has extended its open request for proposals to create a transit-oriented development adjacent to Ogden’s FrontRunner station until Sept. 1.
At this time, it is unknown how many firms are interested in working with the city and UTA to transform 35 acres of land into a walkable neighborhood with housing, shopping, employment and entertainment.
UTA will select a firm whose proposal is “most advantageous” to the transit authority and Ogden, according to city documents.
Among the objectives respondents are being asked to envision is the renovation of the Union Station building so it can be restored as a proper gateway to 25th Street and Ogden in general. Artifacts currently being housed within the building will remain, but in a new museum space pending available funding, according to city documents.
With approximately 18 acres of property along Wall Avenue between 22nd and 27th streets being owned by UTA and remaining acreage owned or controlled by Ogden City, the development is being jointly commissioned.
Brandon Cooper, Ogden’s director of community and economic development, said while the procurement process is being managed by UTA, the Redevelopment Agency will participate in selecting a development partner based on criteria. Cooper said he suspects the process to take anywhere from two to four weeks.
As for when the public can expect to see changes occur along the corridor, Cooper said it will not be anytime soon.
“There is a significant amount of work to be done between selecting a partner and breaking ground,” he said.
UTA has been looking to develop its 18 acres of land off of Wall Avenue for about five years. The agency continues to build its case for more transit-oriented neighborhoods, citing changes in travel behavior, air quality and congestion issues as well as an ever increasing gap between income and housing costs.
Compact city centers surrounding transit infrastructure have the capability of becoming a transit-oriented development, or TOD, so long as they meet typical criteria considered including accessibility for all modes of transportation, a variety of shops, eateries and recreation within a comfortable walking distance.
Switzerland native Kemal Altun, now living in the area, claimed that isolated transit stations like the Ogden FrontRunner invite homelessness and criminal activity.
“It would be good for business and everyone else if it’s not so isolated here,” he said.
In addition to TODs acting as economic generators for their communities, they reportedly provide improved active transportation connections and greater connectivity to the regional transit system. To date, UTA has broken ground on five TODs with many others in various phases of development.