There’s no doubt Ogden City is changing – and for the better! Central to that change is the city of Ogden acting as the Redevelopment Agency (RDA).
As the oldest incorporated city in Utah, Ogden has unique challenges related to its aging infrastructure, buildings, and at times, its image. The primary purpose of the RDA is to help return vibrancy into depressed, deteriorated, or otherwise economically-challenged areas of the city.
Brandon Cooper, the deputy director for Ogden City’s Community and Economic Development department, is one of many people with Ogden City who works as part of the RDA.
Cooper said the RDA actively participates, on one level or another, in almost all downtown projects. The challenge, he said, comes in communicating details about various projects, successes, and future plans.
“The RDA is excited to utilize the MAKE Ogden platform as a way to engage the community,” Cooper said. “We want to open an effective dialogue about the changes that are happening, why they are important, and what it means for the future of Ogden.”
The RDA works with property owners, developers, businesses, other local entities, and major stakeholders to envision the future and to find pathways to prosperity. The most effective tool in finding those pathways is a process called tax increment financing, commonly referred to as TIF.
Funding for redevelopment projects in Ogden is often supported through TIF. When a private entity – or entities – invests in a redevelopment project, they increase the value of their property, thus generating new property tax revenues. This increase in property value creates tax increment that the city can use to support and catalyze redevelopment projects – projects designed to increase the value of property and the quality of life in Ogden.
The American Can Building, recognized on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, was formerly a metal can production plant employing over 450 people before it closed down in 1979. Prior to redevelopment, the building was a decaying, abandoned space. The building is now occupied by the North American headquarters for Amer Sports, Ogden City’s Business Information Center, DaVinci Academy, Trust Brands, and more.
The space now occupied by the Kemp Center at the Ogden-Hinckley Airport was formerly empty land. Now, commercial and private flights regularly depart and arrive through the Ogden Airport, and the airport hosts operations for several aerospace and defense companies; this includes Northrop Grumman, which operates an office at the Kemp Center.
The building containing Autoliv, now one of the largest employers in Ogden, was a redevelopment project funded through TIF to revitalize an old automotive repair facility. Trackline, the Ogden Business Exchange now occupied by companies like ENVE and Roosters Brewing Co., was formerly a defunct space known as the Ogden Stockyard. Business Depot Ogden, formerly a hub for military warehousing and distribution known as Defense Depot Ogden, now houses over 100 businesses including Barnes Aerospace, Mackenzie EXHIBIT, Nutraceutical, and Scott USA.
Each of these projects – and almost all redevelopment projects– have a gap between the overall cost of the project and what revenues are produced by the project; tax increment finance fills that gap. In Ogden, these redevelopment projects have included ensuring the proper, faithful renovation and restoration of historic buildings and sites, in addition to catalyzing new construction.