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Ogden building on 25th Street has ‘numerous structural deficiencies,’ city says

By Tim Vandenack - | Oct 17, 2023

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

The Union Walk 55-unit apartment building taking shape at 144 25th St. in Ogden, photographed Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023.

OGDEN — Ogden officials say there are more problems with the unfinished apartment building at 144 25th St. than originally detected, which raise the specter of the structure’s collapse.

If not fixed, the incomplete building could face demolition.

Ogden officials last March ordered a halt to work on the five-story building because some of the wood used to build it isn’t properly fire resistant, creating a fire hazard, they say, and violating city code. According to a new notice issued by the city and provided to the Standard-Examiner on Monday, the building also has “numerous structural deficiencies” that need to be repaired. They came to light during an Oct. 2 inspection.

“There are deflecting and sagging floor joists, non-code compliant structural connections, framing members bowing due to bearing weight overload, gravity load stress and roof trusses tilting, leaning and no longer vertical in position,” reads the new notice, dated Oct. 12.

The notice doesn’t specifically say collapse is imminent. But it warns that the structure’s condition constitutes a danger to public safety “because if any of the structural support members fail completely due to continual stress and weight overload, the building will collapse.” Collapse, the notice goes on, would put pedestrians and adjacent traffic on 25th Street at risk “of being hurt or buried in the building construction debris.”

The building, designed to house around 50 units, sits in a high-profile area of Historic 25th Street, a food, bar and entertainment hub, towering over the structures on either side of it.

A rep from the developer, Summa Terra Ventures of Springville, didn’t immediately respond to a message Monday seeking comment. But Mike Watson, the firm’s chief executive officer, has previously expressed confidence the company would be able to come up with a way to address any issues and concerns, precluding the need to tear the building down.

Jared Johnson, Ogden’s building services manager, said Summa Terra Ventures’ people are aware of the new notice. “They know it’s happened,” he said.

Either way, the new findings further complicate what was already a complicated situation. The city had originally set a deadline of Monday for an acceptable plan to fix the issues related to use of framing lumber lacking fire-resistant treatment. Now with the new notice, the property owner, Union Station LLC, has 60 days to either fix the problems or come up with a plan to address the issues, it reads. Union Station LLC and Summa Terra Ventures are housed at the same Springville address and have the same registered agent, Aubrey Palmer, who’s the founder and chief operating officer of Summa Terra Ventures.

Johnson said the developer had appealed the first notice, issued Sept. 26. Now that it’s been rescinded and replaced with the new Oct. 12 notice, he’s not sure what the company will do. The notice may be appealed within 10 days of it being served.

If Summa Terra Ventures takes no action, Mayor Mike Caldwell could order demolition, with the cost of the work placed as a special assessment against the property, according to the notice. Summa Terra Ventures has blamed contractor Makers Line for use of the lumber lacking sufficient fire-resistant qualities.


Last week’s new notice said the building at 144 25th St. poses a public danger per three provisions in two city code sections that govern building construction.

The city identified 17 specific “structural deficiencies” that came out of the Oct. 2 inspection. They include roof trusses leaning “out of vertical plumb” and lack of anchors in some places holding framing to the building’s concrete foundation. Moreover, there are bowing framing studs and sagging joist systems on the south side of the building due to unsupported loads transferred from the roof and the floors above.

The notice also contains more dire language about the threat of a fire brought on by use of lumber lacking proper fire retardant treatment.

If the building were to catch fire “due to the amount of standard nontreated wood framing installed throughout the building, it would be difficult or impossible to extinguish,” it reads. “Due to this building’s proximity to other buildings, the fire would spread to adjacent properties.”

The developer has implemented security measures to guard against a fire.


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