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Ogden leaders OK airport reinvestment area to spur development, investment

By Tim Vandenack - | Jun 11, 2023

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

The control tower at Ogden-Hinckley Airport, photographed March 25, 2023.

OGDEN — With creation of a community reinvestment area encompassing Ogden-Hinckley Airport largely a done deal, the city has more leverage to redevelop the facility, says Brandon Cooper, Ogden’s director of community and economic development.

The issue has been a focus of deliberation for four years or more and the Ogden City Council and Ogden Redevelopment Agency, made up of City Council members, approved a series of measures this week key in its formation. Cooper says the new Airport Community Reinvestment Area will be in full effect after completing a few procedural steps, resulting in a “tool” to develop the 837 acres of the airport area, which encompasses private and public land.

“We envision development growth in both commercial and private hangars,” Cooper said in an emailed response to a series of Standard-Examiner queries. “Our focus is to support commercial aviation, commercial passenger aviation and general aviation activities.”

Notably, creation of the reinvestment area will allow the body to tap into as much as $119.32 million in tax-increment finance, or TIF, funding over 25 years to aid with development in partnership with the private sector. The funds represent deferred property tax revenue generated by new development in the zone that would otherwise go mainly to Weber County, the city of Ogden or the Ogden School District.

The funding stream created by the reinvestment area gives the city leeway to help new developers interested in investing in the area and existing landowners in the area mulling development initiatives or expansion, he said. Moreover, Cooper said, the funds can aid in job recruiting efforts by airport operations, airport maintenance and airport infrastructure investment.

Image supplied, City of Ogden

The yellow lines pictured encompass Ogden-Hinckley Airport and represent the boundaries of a proposed community reinvestment area. The CRA, if ultimately created, would allow for use of property tax revenue to help with a series of massive airport upgrades envisioned by city leaders.

“Generally speaking, TIF (money) is best used to cover a gap in development finance for a new project, corporate incentives for job creation/retention and for infrastructure investments,” Cooper said. Ogden Redevelopment Agency officials would review applications for use of reinvestment area money.

Cooper’s office indicated that airport project possibilities, though not yet definitive, have already emerged:

  • A pair of Hill Air Force Base initiatives to develop off-base facilities that would require an investment of some $100 million.
  • A $200 million proposal from a non-military aerospace company that needs up to one million square feet of industrial space.
  • $50 million for construction of multiple commercial hangars for use by non-military aeronautical companies.

The airport lost commercial service last year when Allegiant and Avelo airlines halted their offerings out of Ogden to both Mesa, Arizona, and Burbank, California. Creation of the reinvestment area could aid in getting that back, though any TIF money wouldn’t likely go to carriers.

“Although TIF may be directly given to commercial passenger companies, the use of TIF is more widely applied to things like infrastructure, buildings and programs that support commercial passenger service,” Cooper said.

A photo looking toward the runway of the Ogden-Hinckley Airport, photographed March 25, 2023.


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