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Rezone clears path for apartment development on old Wangsgards site

By Mark Shenefelt - | May 20, 2022
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The old Wangsgards building, 120 N. Washington Blvd., sits vacant on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
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This map shows the old Wangsgards grocery store property and a strip of undeveloped First Street land that Ogden City may sell to a developer. The developer wants to build a large apartment complex, commercial spaces, single-family homes and open-space areas.

OGDEN — The Ogden City Council has cleared the way for the planning of a mixed-use development, anchored by a large apartment complex, on the old Wangsgards grocery store site.

Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to vacate a strip of right-of-way on the never-developed First Street between Washington Boulevard and Adams Avenue. The developer, Hutzley Inc., plans to buy the strip from the city and incorporate it into the project.

Next, the council voted unanimously to rezone the vacated strip and portions of two residential lots to the east of the Wangsgards site from residential to commercial.

The votes allow the developer to flesh out a project plan with the city’s Community and Economic Development Department.

Planning commission documents say the development likely will include a large apartment building, common space, a pool, commercial retail space and parking. The vacated strip of First Street can be used for pickleball courts and more parking, developer representative Mike Bastian said in an April council meeting.

Andrew Johnson, who lives on Adams Avenue next to the vacated First Street strip, told the council on Tuesday that he was glad that the unused property may be cleaned up.

“Just yesterday, I called the police,” Johnson said. “It’s a (homeless) camp back there. They get threatening.”

The city planning staff said in council documents that they had reviewed the Hillcrest/Bonneville Community Plan to see if the Wangsgards site redevelopment project would conform. “It supports high density residential housing and redevelopment of big box commercial uses into mixed-use commercial space as they become vacant … this concept fits with current market trends,” the report said.

City planning manager Greg Montgomery said the rezoning moves approved Tuesday also will fulfill the city’s desire to preserve the residential character of the Adams Avenue area to the east of the development.

The Wangsgards building, one of three defunct grocery stores at the Five Points intersection, is on the northeast corner of Washington Boulevard and Second Street. The site has been vacant for years, although a sandwich shop and other businesses remain in operation in an adjacent strip.

When the development first came up in an April meeting, council member Richard Hyer asked for more information about it, concerned the city might be forfeiting options for greater commercial development there. But on Tuesday he praised the proposals, saying the developer and city staff had allayed his worries.

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