Community development runs on the mantra that neighborhoods should be attractive, cohesive, diverse and safe environments for working, shopping, and raising a family.
The Ogden City Bungalows have provided that for homeowner Nicholas Lee, who bought one of the original bungalows built on Quincy Avenue. “We love this home because it’s close to downtown, has the look and feel of a craftsman style home but is basically brand new.”
The Lees bought the home in 2013 when the original purchaser moved. “Our neighbors here took advantage of the city’s special financing, that promises low rates if the home is owner occupied for at least five years. That means we see our neighbors and have a chance to get to know them. [All of us] get to be a part of this effort to improve our neighborhood.”
The Oak Den Bungalows are the latest project from the Ogden City Community Development Division. It’s part of a multidimensional approach to creating attractive, cohesive, safe environments. It offers loans to fix up existing homes, tear down abandoned buildings, and build new homes. It also provides loan programs to owner-occupant buyers in the historic districts of Ogden.
Under the program,old buildings and unsafe homes were torn down, and a site prepared that featured 23 new homes, all designed to blend in with the neighboring historic homes. Oak Den, the master planned community, is just a few blocks from the heart of downtown, walking distance to both Historic 25th Street and The Junctionshopping centers. It’s also a few blocks from the soon-to-be STEM elementary school that is replacing the old Dee School.
The Oak Den community will have a total of 23 homes, 17 of which are available for purchase. The model home at 940 24th Street will be completed and open for touring by the end of the year. “All the bells and whistles will be in that one,” says Christine Carver, Ogden City realtor and representative for the Oak Den community.
“All of the homes are two-story, poured cement, slab-on-grade homes with detached 2-car garages. They come fully landscaped. Everything is built to a high standard for being ‘green’,” Carver says. “The goal is really to reduce the homeowner’s utility costs. We even include electric car charging in the garage upon request.”
These bungalows are a continuation of a program launched within the last ten years. There are strings of similar bungalows sprinkled throughout downtown Ogden, with a handful on Quincy where the Lees live, a few on Fowler, others over by the existing Dee Elementary School and five on Lincoln Avenue.
“We started at 2855 Fowler,” says Sue Wilkerson, former realtor for the program and member of the Ogden City Landmarks Commission, “then we looked at Quincy. The houses that stood where the homes are on Quincy were literally made out of packing crates from Hill Air Force Base. I remember, as the walls were being torn down, you could see the shipping information.”
As the city continues to build these homes and convert blighted areas to gems of the community, there is one resounding principle: ‘make it match.’
“We don’t want these homes sticking out like sore thumbs in our historic neighborhoods,” Christine explains, “but something needed to be done to make these areas safe, family friendly and habitable.”
The Oak Den bungalows range anywhere from 1700 to 2000 square feet, come with a minimum of two bathrooms, and can be 3-5 bedrooms. Starting prices are in the $180s. The goal is to have the whole development completed and occupied by the end of 2016.
More information on the Oak Den Bungalows can be found at oakdenbungalows.com or by visiting the Ogden City Economic Development Division: www.ogdencity.com/en/DepartmentDivision/CommunityDevelopment