Ground broken on WonderBlock development in downtown Ogden
OGDEN — Wondering when the WonderBlock development will finally get underway? Well, wonder no more.
At a short ceremony Friday afternoon, officials from Ogden City and J. Fisher Cos. broke ground on the mixed-use development.
As reported by the Standard-Examiner last November, the proposed cluster of four- and five-story WonderBlock buildings would contain 354 market-rate apartments, 100,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of retail space, a grocery store and a boutique hotel.
Owen Fisher, co-founder and CEO of J. Fisher Cos., said Friday was an exciting time for the community and all those involved in the project.
“I couldn’t believe that it had been about six years since we first had an opportunity to meet with Ogden City and to be involved in this great undertaking of the Make Ogden plan,” he said during the ceremony. “We are honored to be a part of this and bring back some of the roots and some of the things that were important to us in development.”
Brock Loomis, managing director with J. Fisher Cos., said the project will set a standard.
“We firmly believe the economic impact of WonderBlock will be felt for generations,” he said. “As you see this project come to life, you’re going to be amazed at how beautiful it is. I know the renderings look great, but when you see it in person, it’s going to be one of those projects that’s just going to stand the test of time.”
Following Friday’s ceremony, Loomis told the Standard-Examiner the public should start to see buildings rising from the site in the next six months.
“The total build time is about four years,” he said, adding that it’s an exciting time to get under way with the project.
“It’s been a lot of work for a lot of people,” he said. “Huge collaborative effort with Ogden City and the partnership with J. Fisher Cos. We’re excited to be working with them and excited to finally see it come out of the ground.”
Ogden Mayor Ben Nadolski also spoke Friday, saying that this project is rising out of special ground.
“We stand here in a place, and at a time, to celebrate the WonderBlock,” he said. “That’s a name that’s rooted in our past. And if you spent a lot of the past here, you can almost smell the bread in the air. This is a place of experience. It’s a place of remembrance. It’s a place that we believe in and that we invest in. That’s exactly what this project is — it’s an investment in us, an investment in now and an investment in tomorrow. Our city’s rich and colorful past has set the stage for this project and it’s that same colorful past and Ogden spirit that’s going to set the stage for our future right here.”
The ceremony concluded with the groundbreaking conducted by city officials and developers alike.