OGDEN — Gearing up for what is to be a multimillion dollar facelift of a six-block section of downtown, Ogden City is looking to sell the only remaining piece of the old Hostess/Wonder Bread factory.
The Ogden City Council will soon consider a real estate purchase contract that involves the city selling the Historic Brown Ice Cream building to Ogden businessman Dan McEntee. Ogden Deputy Director of Community and Economic Development Brandon Cooper said the city wants to sell the 2557 Grant Ave. property to McEntee for $100,000.
The building, which sits on 0.137 acres immediately west of the Ogden Justice Court, was estimated by appraisers to be worth about $322,000, but the structure also includes some $226,000 worth of needed repair work and deferred maintenance.
As part of the contract, McEntee — who is an owner of Rooster’s B Street Brewery, the Angry Goat Pub & Kitchen and The McEntee Group Consulting — must obtain a certificate of occupancy within two years of the sale closing and have the building placed on the Historic Register.
Ogden City purchased the entire Wonder Bread site at 26th and Grant Avenue for $2.4 million in 2016. During that transaction, the Ogden Redevelopment Agency board (which is made up of the seven members of the City Council) specified that the Brown building must remain intact, despite the rest of the facility being tabbed for demolition.
McEntee wants to use the Brown building for office space and a new restaurant.
The project would represent phase one of the redevelopment plan for the old factory site and figures to be a centerpiece in the city’s proposed “Continental Community Reinvestment Area,” a redevelopment district that includes portions of six blocks between 25th and 27th streets, from Washington Boulevard to Wall Avenue.
The city administration says the area is in need of major improvement, beyond what can be provided by the private sector. The CRA designation would allow the city to use tax increment financing (which funnels new tax revenue back to projects in the area) to help fund a host of redevelopment items — vacant building removal, the development of new housing units, public infrastructure improvements, the renovation of existing buildings and more.
According to city council documents, the old Wonder Bread/Hostess factory, the Weber County Jail, the Ogden Justice Court and the Salvation Army, Bank of Utah and American Linen buildings are listed as potential redevelopment sites.
Other key projects associated with the CRA include the construction of new attached single-family and multi-family units, consolidation of parking and the redevelopment of portions of the municipal block. Project expenditures for the CRA could total as much as $236.2 million.