SOUTH OGDEN — South Ogden is reaching for the sky.
Several apartment and town home projects are in the works that, by one estimate, will significantly boost the number of housing units in the city. With several multi-story townhouse and apartment structures in the works, the new additions will also give the city more height.
“It seems to be a lot of development very, very fast,” said Sallee Orr, a South Ogden City Council member who highlighted the looming development in the city’s monthly newsletter to residents for February.
She and other city leaders say the development is quicker than the norm, a function of booming demand for housing. “It’s definitely not typical. It’s way more than usual,” said Mayor Russ Porter. “There’s a (housing) shortage in the state. Developers know that.”
Orr noted messaging from state leaders about countering the shortage of housing along the Wasatch Front, particularly affordable housing, a frequent cause of handwringing among elected officials from the local level on up. “There is demand out there and the state is encouraging and wanting cities to plan for the doubling of the population,” she said.
All told, the Woods Rose Townhomes project near South Ogden City Hall, almost complete, plus five other projects expected to finish or at least start in 2021 would bring 940 housing units to the city, largely apartments and town homes. Other developments potentially in the works, according to Orr, would add 180 more units on top of that. By her estimate, the construction, if it all comes to fruition, would result in an 18% boost in housing units in the city. If it all fills up at an average of 2.5 people per unit, the city’s population, now around 17,000, would go up by roughly 16%, or 2,800 people.
South Ogden City Manager Matt Dixon says South Ogden isn’t alone in the area in experiencing notable growth. “It’s very similar to what is happening in most of Weber County and Davis County,” he said.
At any rate, that doesn’t mean the growth doesn’t give cause for pause, at least for some. The new housing will largely be leased or rental property, according to Orr, and she’d like to see more properties earmarked for sale to promote home ownership. “I just feel affordable owner-occupied housing should be stressed more. To me, the American dream is to own something, to own your own home, to own your own condo, to own the piece of real estate where you live,” she said.
Porter understands the sentiment, that some would prefer to see more development of owner-occupied, single-family homes. “But that’s not what the market dictates right now,” he went on.
Here’s a look at some of the development in South Ogden:
Woods Rose Townhomes: The project, taking shape where the city’s old City Hall and senior center buildings once stood in the 500 block of 39th Street, is nearing completion, with 49 units. Most buildings are three levels.
Fernwood Hilltop Apartments: The project is to take shape at the southeast corner of 4400 South and Washington Boulevard, where the Hilltop Lanes bowling alley once sat, according to Orr. It’s to be a four-story complex with 140 units.
The lot is cleared of structures though the old parking area, now crumbling, remains.
Madison Towns: The development west of Madison Avenue on the south side of 40th Street calls for 75 three-level units, according to Orr. Dirt has moved on the project and workers were there on Tuesday.
Seasons on Riverdale: The plans call for a four-story apartment complex with 181 units in the 3700 block, roughly, of Riverdale Road, between Lincoln Avenue and the Walgreens to the north, according to Orr.
The Gardens: The four-story apartment building on 40th Street near McKay-Dee Hospital would house 110 units. It would sit atop a parking area, giving the structure added height, according to Orr.
Terrazza Apartments: Plans call for three four-story buildings containing 385 units below the city’s ubiquitous water tanks on Harrison Boulevard. They are to sit atop two-level parking areas, according to Orr, making for six-level structures. “In my opinion, they’re very, very tall,” she said.
Dirt has moved on the project and workers were there on Tuesday.
The Woods Rose Townhomes project, at least, was the focus of sometimes heated debate before city leaders approved the plans. Orr, for one, opposed the project, lamenting the loss of the senior center. More generally, she aims to shed light on the varied projects in the works so residents know what’s going on. “I think they need to know what we’re choosing to do,” she said.