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The former homeless shelter St. Anne's Center being taken down on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, at Binford Street and Wall Avenue.

OGDEN — The Ogden administration wants to expand the city’s downtown area by rezoning a nearly five-acre piece of land just south of Union Station.

A petition has been filed by the city’s Community and Economic Development Department to rezone the property around the former St. Anne’s shelter, generally located at 133 W. Binford St. The parcel holds several vacant properties, including the now vacant site of the former St. Anne’s building, a handful of single-family homes and several commercial properties.

The CED wants to change the area from its current manufacturing and industrial zone to the Central Business District zone. According to a CED letter sent to the Ogden City Council, the rezone would aid in the continued development of the downtown area, particularly its western edge, near Union Station.

The properties included in the proposed rezone were part of a Utah State University-led redevelopment plan for the western portion of Ogden, which was undertaken in 2018.

Students from USU’s Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning department centered the plan around creating new identity for Ogden’s historic rail yard and west Ogden and creating a meaningful connection between those areas and central Ogden and downtown.

The measure is large, but it includes things like new greenways, trails, river restoration, the reconfiguration of 24th Street and other streets in west Ogden and contemporary uses of existing infrastructure in the area.

That plan, which was presented to the council and is being incorporated into ongoing downtown development efforts, proposes high-density housing in the area, adding as many as 300 residents to the nearly five-acre parcel in question. The area’s current manufacturing and industrial zone prohibits residential development, according to council documents.

The city is in the midst of a massive overhaul of its downtown master plan, which provides a framework and common vision for all future development in the district. The new downtown plan will include new and improved development standards, according to CED Deputy Director Brandon Cooper, that will guide everything from the redevelopment and use of historic buildings to parking.

The west side of downtown, even extending into west Ogden, figures to be a key piece of the plan.

The city eventually wants to redevelop the Union Station and much of the land surrounding it, from 22nd Street to 27th Street on Wall Avenue. A larger-scale redevelopment of the station and its grounds has been discussed for several years.

The project, still in its infancy, could include large, public open spaces, museums, art galleries, high-density housing, retail space, meeting and event space and administrative offices. Cooper said there is no timeline for when work could begin on that redevelopment and the city is still exploring its options there.

West of Union Station, the city continues work on the multimillion-dollar Trackline Redevelopment Area, which includes 122 acres between 24th Street and Middleton Road from the railroad tracks to G Avenue. As one-time home to Ogden’s livestock industry, the area was once a thriving economic center, but has been mostly abandoned since the stockyards closed in the 1970s.

The city is transforming the area into a mix of commercial, manufacturing and light industrial space, which will include a 51-acre outdoor recreation business park called the Ogden Business Exchange. The park will include the refurbished historic Ogden Exchange building, which was once the administrative home of the stockyards.

Ogden’s Planning Commission reviewed the rezone proposal in October and recommended its approval by a unanimous 7-0 vote.

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