NORTH OGDEN — Another empty field along busy Washington Boulevard in North Ogden is headed toward development.
After a few stops and starts, the North Ogden City Council has rezoned a 7.2-acre parcel in the 1500 block of North Washington Boulevard and approved a development agreement that will allow plans for the 152-unit Cooperstowne development to move forward. It’s about a quarter-mile south of the much-larger Village at Prominence Point development and had generated opposition earlier this year stemming in part from concerns of housing overdevelopment in North Ogden.
The developer added a commercial element, though, one of the points of concern, and city officials gave the Cooperstowne project a green light to move forward. The plans still face some administrative review, but Rick Scadden, who’s assisting the developer, Wall Brothers Construction, foresees work beginning in two to three months. He hopes to be complete with the first phase, by and large, within nine months.
“We look forward to a property that adds beauty to our community and that you can be proud of,” Mayor Neal Berube said earlier this month when officials OK’d the rezone and development agreement. The land sits at the southern end of North Ogden, where the city bumps into Ogden.
In all, the plans call for 152 garden-style, walk-up apartments spread out in six buildings geared to mid-range renters. A seventh building meant for commercial development would sit along Washington Boulevard. The first phase calls for completion of the 4,500-square-foot commercial building and four other three-story structures housing 92 apartment units between them. The second phase would entail the final two structures containing 60 units, according to the plans.
An earlier incarnation of the proposal, on North Ogden officials’ plate since 2017, called for a 166-unit complex. It lacked a commercial element, though, a point of concern for some, and the city council rejected the rezone request last February, precipitating the revamped proposal with the commercial building.
At any rate, Scadden has his doubts about how quickly the commercial building, to be geared to retail and professional tenants, may fill. “I think retail’s going to be very tough to fill,” he said.
He’s more confident about the prospects for the apartment units. “According to studies, believe it or not, we’re still not reaching market demand,” he said.
Some North Ogden leaders have expressed concern about an overabundance of high-density housing development in North Ogden. In discussing the proposal last February, Councilperson Philip Swanson, for one, said he wanted to see how Village at Prominence Point and Patriot Pointe, another fledgling development in North Ogden, panned out before allowing yet another development.
Such concerns didn’t emerge when officials discussed the plans on Jan. 12. Berube, however, asked to review some of the financial details of the plans, perhaps mindful of the bankruptcy filing by the motor behind the Village at Prominence Point development just to the north, managed by a separate group of developers. Scadden agreed to the condition, describing the financials as “very impressive.” He also agreed to pitch in around $2,500 toward installation of a sign on the land welcoming northbound motorists coming from Ogden into North Ogden.
Meritage Companies, one of the investors in Village at Prominence Point, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Arizona last June. That case winds its way through court, but officials involved have said the court case shouldn’t hamper the project’s potential.