Ogden Business 03

The view from 24th Street looking east in March 2020 in downtown Ogden.

OGDEN — Ogden City officials say a detailed and expansive plan that will guide development downtown for decades to come should be ready to be implemented before summer is over.

The city is about a year into a complete overhaul of its Central Business District plan. Dubbed “Make Ogden,” the new plan will be used as a blueprint for growth and expansion in Ogden’s area downtown for at least 25 years.

Representatives from Denver-based landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm Design Workshop, the city’s consultant on the project, and Ogden’s Community and Economic Development Department briefed the City Council on the plan during a Tuesday work session.

Design Workshop Planner Robb Berg said the goal of the plan is to position Ogden’s downtown as a place where businesses thrive and people live — all while protecting the long-term fiscal health of the community and preserving historic and natural assets in the area.

Berg’s presentation to the council demonstrated some of the plan’s lofty development goals for the two-and-a-half decades: nearly 5,000 new housing units, 7,000 new jobs, 1,000 new hotel rooms and 4,500 new parking stalls. Those targeted additions will take place incrementally in four different phases through 2045.

The plan calls for Ogden to “leverage assets” already in the city’s downtown to help achieve the development goals, Berg said. As the former home of the nation’s largest passenger rail centers, Ogden’s transition from an industrial, rail-driven economy has left many vacant or underutilized properties inside the city’s core. The city wants to use those areas to evolve the downtown while taking advantage of the scenic vistas along the Wasatch Front and the confluence of the Ogden and Weber rivers.

Specific projects in the plan include a redevelopment of the Union Station campus along Wall Avenue, “infilling” vacant parcels on Historic 25th Street and building residential housing on Electric Alley behind Historic 25th Street, as well as vacant building removal, new housing units, public infrastructure improvements and the renovation of existing buildings all within a six-block area between Wall Avenue and Washington Boulevard from 25th to 27th streets.

Brandon Cooper, deputy director of the CED department, said the Ogden Planning Commission will receive a preview of the plan in June and then make final adoption recommendations for the council in July. The council will make a final determination on the plan in August. The city will hold public meetings and ask for public comment on the plan sometime before the council considers it.

Council Chair Angela Choberka said she’s heard concerns from constituents about the city being too focused on only one portion of Ogden.

“As you focus on these denser high-value areas, the halo effect of that activity spreads across the city,” Cooper said in response. “I think the splash we’ll get from this plan over the years will have a huge residual impact on the whole city.”

If adopted, the Make Ogden plan would be an element of Ogden’s General Plan, which provides a framework and common vision for all future development in Ogden. Adopted in 2000, the General Plan includes guidelines and policy statements for things like facilities, community identity, economic development, environmental resources, housing, land use, neighborhoods, open space and transportation.

Make Ogden is like a miniature version of the General Plan, focusing the same principles on a smaller section of the city. Ogden’s Central Business District includes all land from 20th to 27th streets between Wall and Adams avenues. The CBD Master Plan hasn’t been updated in more than a decade.

For more information, go to makeogden.com.

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