OGDEN — One final Ogden City Council action remains before crews can begin tearing down West Ogden’s iconic and now controversial Swift building.
The Ogden City administration is proposing a $812,975 increase to the city’s 2020 budget in order to cover additional expenses related to the building’s demolition. A public hearing on the measure has been set for 6 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Ogden Municipal Building, 2549 Washington Blvd.
The proposal involves transferring the money from the city’s Business Depot Ogden lease fund. The $812,975 would cover additional money needed for demolition costs and a 13% project contingency, with some of the funding supporting additional asbestos abatement. The city originally allocated $2.2 million for the demolition project. If approved, the extra funding would bring the cost of dealing with the site to $3.01 million.
The city bought the Swift property in 2017 from Utah-Smith, an business entity connected to Bert Smith, the late founder of local retailer Smith and Edwards Co.
The city has long sought to redevelop the land, but the work was delayed after the discovery of a large quantity of chemical materials stored inside the building. The Environmental Protection Agency began cleaning the site in late March and wrapped up the project a little more than a month ago.
The council approved a $1.8 million deal in October to sell the Swift site to Atwater Infrastructure Partners, which plans to build a 125,000-square-foot aerospace manufacturing facility there.
The city could possibly face additional costs to soil and groundwater cleanup around the Swift site, but specifics on that won’t be known until testing can be conducted after the building is razed.
Sitting at 390 W. Exchange Road, just north of the 24th Street viaduct, the 102-year-old warehouse was once home to the defunct Swift meat packing plant. With its large red “Swift” sign and its prominent location near on of the city’s main entrance points, the building has been an icon in Ogden for decades.