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Ogden City Council to discuss, vote on transferring funds for downtown Wonder Block project

By Deborah Wilber - | Jun 21, 2022

Image supplied, Ogden City

This is a rendering of a mixed-use development Ogden City is planning for the land surrounding the old Wonder Bread factory downtown.

OGDEN — Members of the Ogden City Council on Tuesday are expected to vote on a transfer of $2.5 million from the general fund balance to the Redevelopment Agency Continental Project Area for predevelopment costs at the so-called “Wonder Block” site downtown.

Designed with the purpose to enhance and support Historic 25th Street, the former Wonder Bread plant, located at 26th Street and Grant Avenue, will become a mixed-use development incorporating downtown parking and multifamily residential units.

The property was purchased from Flowers Baking Co. in 2016 for $2.1 million with the MAKE Ogden Downtown Master Plan and the Ogden General Plan in mind.

The Wonder Block is part of the Continental Community Reinvestment Area Plan and Budget, which was created in 2019 to facilitate redevelopment of large industrial sites and underutilized properties located in the downtown area.

According to Ogden City Comptroller Lisa Stout, a $1.4 million loan through DL Evans Bank has already been spent on predevelopment costs. She said the appropriation of $2.5 million will meet the agency’s $4.5 million predevelopment services agreement with developer JF Wonder Block Partners QOZB LLC.

BEN DORGER, Standard-Examiner file photo

The site of the old Hostess/Wonder Bread factory site in downtown Ogden is pictured in December 2018. The city is planning a large redevelopment effort there called the Continental Community Reinvestment Area.

Stout said the city administration is asking the council to consider the appropriation knowing the funds will be replaced by lost revenue allocation in fiscal year 2023.

Ogden City received a grant from the state of Utah for $2.5 million through federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for doing the project, not because the project is an ARPA-approved project but because certain criteria in the grant agreement allowed officials to apply for it using the Lost Revenue Rule.

Under the Lost Revenue Rule, allowed by ARPA, up to $10 million may be used to cover general fund expenses.

“We don’t have to use funds at the Wonder Bread project,” Stout said.

ARPA funds from the state will be used toward the Marshall N. White Community Center instead, according to Stout.

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