OGDEN — A new downtown hotel may soon be coming to Ogden.
In a recent city council work session, Ogden City Deputy Director of Community and Economic Development Brandon Cooper said a national hotel chain is eyeing a long-vacant, but primely located empty parcel on Washington Boulevard.
The lot, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sits on approximately 5 acres in the 2100 block of Washington, east of the Ogden LDS temple.
“We’ve been working to get (that) lot...developed,” Cooper said. “There has been a hotel looking at that site for sometime (but) they ran into some environmental conditions. They’ve been trying to remediate a tank they found from an old gas station, which has prolonged their acquisition of that site.”
Though the parcel of land is owned by the church, it’s part of Ogden’s East Washington redevelopment area — a measure designed to stimulate reinvestment and commercial development between 20th and 24th streets from Washington Boulevard to Adams Avenue.
According to the Ogden Redevelopment Agency’s annual report (released earlier this year), the redevelopment district was established in 2010 and uses tax increment financing to help fund projects within it.
TIF is a common redevelopment funding mechanism used by the city. Typically, the tax valuation for all taxable properties inside a defined area is frozen and future increases in property tax revenue are used in the redevelopment effort.
The district includes the Tower View project, a 144-unit apartment complex that was completed late last year on the northeast corner of 23rd Street and Washington Boulevard. In 2013, the city agreed to send 75 percent of the tax increment generated by the project back to the developer (Tower Heights, LLC) until 2031 or up to $1 million, whichever comes first.
Separate but related to the the East Washington measure, the city is also working with the church and some other private developers on a three-block master plan between Washington and Monroe and 21st and 22nd streets.
The block where the now vacant church property sits could eventually include hospitality, office, residential and commercial uses.
Dale Bills, director of communication’s for the church’s real estate investment arm, Property Reserve, Inc., did not divulge the name of the hotel chain interested in the property.
“Property Reserve is not commenting at this time about future use of the property on Washington Blvd near the Ogden Temple,” he said in an email to the Standard-Examiner.
Cooper said there’s also been some developer interest in building an apartment complex on the north side of the block.
“That’s a little departure from the master plan we’ve created for that area, jointly with the church, but given I think given the nature of housing and the demand for it, it’s a smart move,” he said. “We can move some of the office ideas that we had for that site to another location.”