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Ogden development plans around FrontRunner stop, Union Station inching forward

By Tim Vandenack - | Sep 28, 2021

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

Ogden Station, the Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner stop in Ogden, photographed on Sept. 22, 2021.

OGDEN — Progress takes time, but the proposed redevelopment of the area around Union Station and the Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner station in Ogden is inching forward.

UTA officials expect the agency to seek formal proposals to overhaul the area from developers in the fourth quarter of the year, between October and December. After that, specifics would come into focus for the zone, dubbed Ogden Station by UTA officials, though the planning process could take 12 to 18 months with actual construction stretching out 10 years.

“A fair amount of interest has been expressed by the development community, both at local and national scales,” Jordan Swain, UTA’s transit-oriented development project manager, said in a message to the Standard-Examiner. The area in question sits on the west side of Wall Avenue between 22nd and 27th streets, roughly, encompassing Union Station and the FrontRunner stop.

Aside from the FrontRunner, the area will serve as the terminus for the Ogden bus rapid transit system now taking shape, Swain noted, and it sits near the many businesses on and around 25th Street just to the east. “Because of this context, Ogden Station is one of the most exciting opportunities for transit-oriented development along the Wasatch Front,” he said.

Transit-oriented developments are development schemes meant to cluster residential and commercial offerings around a transit hub, like the FrontRunner station and looming BRT stop. TOD plans are moving forward around the Clearfield FrontRunner station, while Roy officials are weighing creation of a development strategy around the FrontRunner station there.

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

Ogden Station, the Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner stop in Ogden, photographed on Sept. 22, 2021.

Redevelopment of the area to the north and south of Union Station in Ogden is contemplated in Make Ogden, the city-crafted master plan that charts long-range future development around the city’s downtown area. Tom Christopulos, Ogden’s community and economic development director, said the plans in the Ogden Station area are among the key prongs of the plan.

A developer’s vision of redevelopment in the commercial core of Ogden, contemplated in the city’s Make Ogden planning document. Utah Transit Authority officials plan to seek proposals to redevelop the area around the FrontRunner stop in Ogden between October and December 2021.
(Image supplied, City of Ogden/Make Ogden plan)

“It is the most significant part of the Make Ogden plan,” Christopulos said. Another key element is development of the so-called Wonder Block along 26th Street between Lincoln and Grant avenues, where a Wonder Bread factory once sat before its demolition in 2018 to make way for mixed-use development.

Christopulos foresees development in phases, lasting up to 10 years. “So it won’t all happen at once,” he said.

Apart from the 16.9 acres of UTA land, including the parking lot east of the FrontRunner platform and the land north of that, another 6.9 acres is to be included in the Ogden Station development area, according to Swain, part of it owned by the city and the Union Station Foundation. The city-owned land that’s included sits on the west side of Wall Avenue between 27th and Binford streets, according to Christopulos.

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

Ogden Station, the Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner stop in Ogden, photographed on Sept. 22, 2021.

Union Pacific Railroad owns Union Station, but the city leases the property, and Christopulos says that facility would possibly be remodeled or repurposed as part of the development plans.

When complete, Swain foresees a mix of residential, office and retail space in the focus area as well as public open space. There would be an “innovation center” housing office and incubation space and a transit plaza, primarily a residential area with some commercial, he said.

“All uses described in the station area plan are preliminary and intended to help establish a general vision. Entitled land uses will be defined after a development partner has been identified/selected within a master development agreement,” Swain said.

Ogden Station, the Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner stop in Ogden, photographed on Sept. 22, 2021.

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