OGDEN – Officials at the Ogden Redevelopment Agency say the next fiscal year will largely be a continuum of past efforts, with a focus on promoting several high-profile projects that have already started.
The budget proposed by Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell for fiscal year 2022, which begins July 1, includes $ 10.7 million for the city’s GDR. This figure represents a relatively small increase of about $ 661,000, or nearly 7%, from fiscal year 2021.
But the GDR is funded primarily by increasing taxes received from various redevelopment districts in operation around the city. Districts operate by freezing the tax assessment for all taxable properties within a specific area of ââland that the city has listed for reinvestment. For a period of time or up to a certain dollar amount, future increases in property tax revenue are used in the redevelopment effort, a development incentive often used called tax increase financing.
TIF money is usually offered to developers as a motivation to build, and it can be used for things like improving streets and utilities, removing hazardous waste, acquiring property, and demolishing. of damaged buildings. In Ogden, the RDAs generally collect the tax increases from the city, county and school district.
Ideally, when the term or dollar thresholds are reached, a new development in an RDA has increased tax assessments in the area and government agencies see new cash flow that might not have existed otherwise.
The GDR also receives contributions from the rental income cache of the city’s Business Depot Ogden. The city collects rental income from tenants operating out of the BDO, sharing the money 50-50 in a public-private partnership with the Salt Lake City-based Boyer Group. After spending, the city takes about $ 8 million a year, a figure that doesn’t include property tax revenue there.
The aim of the RDA is essentially to rebuild the areas of the community that need it while emphasizing the parts that are already functioning well.
âIn general, our whole goal is to remove barriers and build on the positives,â said Brandon Cooper, deputy director of Ogden’s community and economic development department.
Over the next year, Cooper said the ethics would be applied to several areas of the city.
Cooper said one of the agency’s biggest goals was to complete environmental remediation work on the site of the old Swift building and begin development efforts there. The city bought the Swift property in 2017 from Utah-Smith, a business entity linked to Bert Smith, the late founder of local retailer Smith & Edwards Co. The city has long sought to redevelop the land, but work was delayed afterwards. Discovery. a large amount of chemical materials stored inside the building. The Environmental Protection Agency began cleaning up the site at the end of March 2019 and concluded a major clean-up project later that year.
Located at 390 W. Exchange Road, just north of the 24th Street Viaduct, the Swift Building was 103 years old when the city began demolition work last year. The warehouse once housed the former Swift meat packing plant. With its large red ‘Swift’ sign and prominent location near one of the city’s main entry points, the building has been an icon in Ogden for decades.
The property has long been viewed by city officials as an essential part of the West Ogden redevelopment site known as the Trackline Economic Development Area. The tax-incentive town project includes 122 acres between 24th Street and Middleton Road, from the railway line to G Avenue. By the 1930s, the area was home to the Ogden cattle yards and was once a thriving economic center. . When the stockyards were closed in the 1970s, the area quickly fell into disrepair and was mostly uninhabited until Trackline was established in 2013.
The development now includes a mix of commercial, manufacturing and light industrial space, including a 51-acre outdoor recreation business park called the Ogden Business Exchange, where the Atwater facility will be located. A mix of local and international companies now do business outside the park, including Enve Composites, Selle Royal Company, Roosters Brewing Company and Ogden’s Own Distillery.
Ogden City Council approved a $ 1.8 million deal in October 2019 to sell the Swift site to Atwater Infrastructure Partners, which plans to build a 125,000 square foot aerospace manufacturing plant there.
Cooper said extensive development work is also scheduled to begin next year on the city’s Wonder Block project. Located just southwest of the Ogden Municipal Building, the development site, which once housed the large Hostess and Wonder Bread factory, will eventually include nearly 300 residential units in addition to what could amount to up to 63,000. square feet of commercial space. Offices and a boutique hotel of around 100 rooms will also be part of the project, as well as a new parking structure with 754 spaces.
Likewise, Cooper said work should begin inside the block bordered by 24th and 25th Streets to the north and south, and Monroe Boulevard and Gramercy Avenue to the east and west. . Once home to a Rite Aid pharmacy and several other retail establishments, Ogden City has been trying to redevelop the area for years now. The city’s current vision for the Rite Aid block involves a business called âCapitol Square,â which includes a mix of housing types and office and retail space. A grocery store, plaza, condos, townhouses, apartments, and improved access to the Oasis Community Garden and Lester Park are all being considered for the area.
Cooper said other agency goals over the next year include establishing a remote work center on 25th Street and implementing components of the recently passed downtown master plan. by the city, dubbed “Make Ogden”, among others. But the main goal is for the real kickoff work on the ground to begin on the aforementioned efforts.
“There is a whole host of things in the Make Ogden master plan that will require … the city’s attention,” Cooper said. “(But) our goals … are really to shut down and put a bow on some of these projects you’ve been hearing about for a number of years now.”