Ogden City Community and Economic Development Driving Positive Change
BY DAVID SAWYER
Everybody is talking about it – the positive community momentum and energy that is enhancing our city’s economic vitality – making Ogden a better place to live, work, and do business! One only has to review some of the city’s recent and ongoing community and economic development initiatives – combined with numerous commercial growth announcements – to get good a sense of what is going on. Below are a few key contributing factors:
“Make Ogden” – Downtown Development Projects
The Make Ogden plan was adopted in 2020, establishing a 25-year vision to guide the growth and development of downtown Ogden (https://ut-ogden.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/17312/Final-Ogden-Downtown-Master-Plan). Work on key projects related to “Episode 1” of Make Ogden have already started!
• 26th Street Corridor Improvements between Washington and Wall, including new utility infrastructure, sidewalks, bike path, lighting, and paving. Starting earlier in 2021, this important improvement project is almost complete and will dramatically enhance the functionality and attractiveness of the area and increase our capacity to support additional business and residential development along the important downtown corridor.
• New Wonder Block Mixed-Use Development, located at the former Hostess site, along 26th Street between Grant Avenue and Lincoln Avenue. With construction planned to start in early 2022, the new downtown development will provide a mix of needed housing, retail, commercial, parking, and unique outdoor spaces.
• Enhanced Public Transportation System, with the BRT’s soon to be completed new bus route and stops between UTA’s FrontRunner station, through downtown and along Harrison Boulevard, to Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital.
• Planning for the Union Station Area is underway, including restoration of the station and mixed-use development in the adjacent areas.
• Electric Alley Redevelopment Plans (coming soon) will provide a unique offering of remote work-hub housing options and enhanced parking solutions for the downtown area.
Community Improvement Projects – Arts and Entertainment Activities
In addition to the Make Ogden related projects, Ogden Community and Economic Development has been engaged in several other key improvement projects to enhance our community. Additionally, Ogden City Arts and Events continually supports arts and culture efforts that build community and drive economic growth. Examples of both types of activities include the following:
• Riverbend Ogden Enhancements, with continued growth of the mixed-use development along the Ogden River and improved river access for recreation.
• Ogden Business Exchange Development, including extensive redevelopment of the former Ogden Stockyard as a new business park, featuring outdoor recreation amenities.
• Nine Rails Creative District Additions, featuring the new Dumke Arts Plaza at 25th and Ogden Street (just opened in December) and beautiful new art murals added along Grant Street and other locations this past summer.
• Continuous Art and Entertainment Events that bring Ogden together and attract visitors to enjoy our great community. You can check out all of the Arts and Events activities at ogdencity.com/696/Arts-Events.
• Expanded Flight Service. In case you haven’t heard, flight service through the Ogden-Hinckley Airport has expanded, and you can now fly in and out of the Ogden-Hinckley airport to the Phoenix area as well as the Hollywood/Burbank area. Check out the details at ogdencity.com/1916/Flight-Information.
• Infrastructure Improvements. To accommodate additional flight activity, as well as increased commercial demand to be located near our airport, extensive infrastructure upgrades are currently in process, with completion expected within the next two years.
Accelerating Housing Development
• Increased Housing Options. To meet our community’s growth needs, private development of multifamily housing has dramatically increased, with last year seeing a single-year record for the number of new units permitted in Ogden.
• Housing Updates. In addition, our Community Development Team continues to implement our unique renovation and new infill housing projects that create a balance of housing types and affordability levels in our community.
Business Development Activities/Successes
The pandemic certainly impacted our community, particularly small businesses and disadvantaged populations; however, overall business sales revenues have remained strong, and the unemployment rate in our area is just 2.8% (April ’21). In fact, Ogden is one of only three metro areas in the region with positive job growth from March 2020 to March 2021, with nearly 700 new jobs announced during the last year.
Our Business Development Team heads up our ongoing recruiting efforts to bring new businesses/employers to Ogden and works with existing businesses to help them succeed and grow.
Now you know a few of the key contributing factors from the city’s Community and Economic Development group that help keep the positive community momentum going in Ogden! With our community’s innovative mindset, stunning location, and undeniable momentum, Ogden is the perfect place for business and home. Visit ogdenbusiness.com to learn more about Ogden – city on the rise!