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One Ogden budget motel to be demolished, other underoing renovations

By Tim Vandenack - | Nov 23, 2021

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

The exterior of the Colonial Motel at 1269 Washington Blvd. in Ogden. It's closed and to be demolished.

OGDEN — The sites of two budget motels in Ogden are the focus of redevelopment efforts — one of them to be torn down, the other now closed but to be renovated and reopened.

The developments represent two more steps forward in the elimination or renovation of the economy motels scattered around the city, some catering to long-term tenants.

The Colonial Motel at 1269 Washington Blvd. has been closed and is to be demolished to make way for a restaurant, a Chipotle Mexican Grill, according to a city planning official.

Juan Sandoval, who used to manage the motel, said the city had called for a series of upgrades to bring it into compliance with city codes. But the cost was prohibitive, so the owners — identified in online tax records as Heda and Shoukouh Imani of Las Vegas — have opted to sell.

The city “wanted everything to be updated,” Sandoval said. The Colonial Motel sits just south of the Sonic Drive-In and the 12th Street-Washington Boulevard intersection.

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

The exterior of the Budget Inn at 1956 Washington Blvd. in Ogden. It's been closed for over a year for renovations.

The Budget Inn several blocks south of that at 1956 Washington Blvd. has been closed for over a year due in part to code compliance issues. But its new owner is in the process of renovating the motel, according to Jared Johnson, building services manager for the City of Ogden.

“The new owners are definitely trying to fix it up,” Johnson said. Online tax records identify the new owner as Hassan Manazi of Hooper, who acquired the motel earlier this year from Jayhoun Saissan.

The developments come in the wake of the demolition of three other Ogden motels in 2019 — the Ogden River Inn at 1825 Washington Blvd., the Millstream Motel at 1450 Washington Blvd. and the Courtyard Inn at the southwest corner of 25th Street and Ogden Avenue.

Such motels can serve as a stopgap for people who may not otherwise have a place to live, preventing homelessness. But they can also be a drain on city services with the inordinate number of police and fire calls to such locales, according to Mark Johnson, Ogden’s chief administrative officer. “That’s why there’s a balance,” he said.

The Ogden River Inn site will house a new Mountain America Credit Union branch, now taking shape. The Courtyard Inn location, just west of The Monarch art studio complex, is being converted by the city into an outdoor plaza, the Dumke Arts Plaza.

MIXED SENTIMENTS

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

The exterior of the Budget Inn at 1956 Washington Blvd. in Ogden. It's been closed for over a year for renovations.

Judy Doud, who runs the Ogden Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter, expressed mixed sentiments about the economy motels around the city. Yes, they can keep people off the streets. But lacking the offerings of places like her shelter and Lantern House, another homeless shelter, those in need don’t get the sort of help that may put them on more solid footing.

According to Doud, some people go to budget motels to avoid rules and regulations of homeless shelters. But without the programming that shelters provide, she said, “they’re never going to improve themselves.”

Jared Johnson said both the Colonial Motel and Budget Inn had catered at least in part to long-term tenants, in violation of codes that limit stays at such places to 30 days. One Colonial Motel tenant had been living there for three years.

Currently, the Colonial Motel is still standing, but it’s fenced off along Washington Boulevard to prevent entry by the public. Greg Montgomery, Ogden’s planning manager, said the site plan submitted by the new developer calls for conversion of the location into the Mexican eatery.

“The proposed plan is for a Chipotle,” he said. The developer, based in Midvale, didn’t immediately respond to a query from the Standard-Examiner seeking comment.

At least seven rooms at the Colonial Motel had been closed due to code issues, according to Johnson. The motel also has roof issues and other structural deficiencies.

Aside from the long-term tenants, the Budget Inn’s second-floor outdoor walkway was deteriorating, among other issues. City officials were weighing whether to close it when the owner revealed plans to sell. “We weren’t going to allow occupancy anymore,” Johnson said.

Renovations are underway, but he didn’t offer a timeline for reopening of the Budget Inn.

Melissa Freigang, operator of Weber County’s Center of Excellence, tasked with helping address homelessness, said her office partners with law enforcement and code enforcement officials in dealing with the issue.

She said diversifying housing options is a key prong in addressing the varied circumstances that lead to homelessness. “For example, permanent supportive housing options are critical for the most vulnerable experiencing homelessness that have mental health issues, disabling conditions and no other family or support resources,” she said. “Increasing housing for all socioeconomic levels is a critical need as well as increasing household incomes.”

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