NORTH OGDEN — As construction of a new assisted-living facility in North Ogden proceeds, adjacent to a plot off Washington Boulevard where a massive mixed-use development is to take shape, Spencer Alexander is reserving final judgement.
“It is wait and see, but it’s obviously impacted our feelings about the area,” said Alexander, whose backyard abuts the land where the assisted-living facility is being built.
That said, the preliminary reaction on the development from him and wife Rosie Alexander is hardly resounding support. The two-floor structure, with a higher roof, partially blocks the view of the mountains to the east from the rear of their home.
“It’s the tallest two-story building I’ve ever seen. The pitch on the roof is ridiculous,” said Rosie Alexander. Their house, near the 1700 North and 150 East intersection, was to have been their “forever home,” she said, but with the new development now coming in just to the east, altering the neighborhood dynamic more than she expected, she’s not so sure anymore.
Officials from Oregon-based Link Development, the developer building Canyon View Senior Living, as it’s dubbed, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment. Plans on the eight-acre parcel call for a 140-unit facility geared to seniors, surrounded to the north and east by a separate 32.9-acre development containing more than 600 living units, including apartments, townhouses and more.
North Ogden City Attorney Jon Call, though, said the Canyon View project is chugging forward, as originally planned and approved by city leaders. The structure has arisen off 1700 North behind a row of homes on 150 East, including the Alexander house. It’s visible across an open field from Washington Boulevard, located to the east.
“I think they actually might be a little ahead of the original schedule,” Call said.
As for the other, larger development, called Village at Prominence Point and located on the open expanse west of Washington Boulevard, between 1700 North and 1900 North, the preliminary groundwork has been laid. Developers have sought some changes in project specs, including some setback requirements, and Call said they have installed the water lines and stormwater sewer system, necessary ahead of building structures and the internal street system there.
“They would love to start construction now,” Call said, but a few details still need to be ironed out. A representative from Meritage Companies of Alaska, one of the developers, wasn’t available for comment.
‘IT’S NOT COOL’
In the fall of 2017, as the Village at Prominence Point proposal was up for review by the North Ogden City Council, then-Mayor Brent Taylor called it “the largest mixed-use project that will ever be built in the city.” As put forward then, it calls for 607 living units housed in 69 structures — apartment buildings, town houses, cottages for seniors and an independent living facility, also for seniors. Several other structures are planned along Washington Boulevard, housing more than 35,000 square feet of commercial space.
It generated plenty of feedback from residents, some concerned about increased traffic, crowding of schools due to the new housing and more. Ultimately, city leaders approved the plans — vetted and debated since at least 2015 — mindful, in part, of the need for more housing.
Though no specific construction date has been put forward for the broader project, dirt will soon be moving for a car wash that will sit along Washington Boulevard, inside the area set aside for commercial development. It will be called the Ultimate Express Car Wash, according to a sign along Washington Boulevard, and site work could start in coming weeks, Call said. The sign says it’s to open by the summer.
To the west, meantime, near the assisted-living facility taking shape, the Alexanders and others, they say, are holding their breath as the growth comes. The Alexanders had caught wind the assisted-living facility would be coming when they moved in, were aware of the plans, but the structure seems much bigger than they had anticipated.
Rosie Alexander says many neighbors have moved in recent months, mindful, at least in part, she thinks, of the new development that’s coming in. For her part, she worries the increased traffic brought on by the presence of construction workers will be a harbinger of things to come. Plus, she still can’t get over the changed vista behind her home.
Before, there was an unimpeded view of the Wasatch Front mountains. Now, she sees a building with mountaintops peeking over it. “It’s not cool,” she said.