Ogden’s Historic 25th Street is rich with charm, historic significance and unique architecture, but in the works is a several- story apartment complex right in the heart of the street. While there are some that agree with the build or feel neutral about it, most residents seem to be either opposed to it or outright angry about the towering building nestled between much shorter, historically aesthetic buildings.
Throughout Ogden, you can find signs taped to windows and walls with a picture of the apartment complex that read “Follow the money.” Money seems to be a common theme in the opinions surrounding the construction of 25th Street’s newest addition ― be it the potential price to live at the apartment complex, the amount of money put into building with no added parking, or the idea that the design should have never been approved according to previously established guidelines for building in the historic district. Many individuals share the belief that the apartments had to have extreme profit potential for it to be approved in the first place.
Most of the “redevelopment” happening in Ogden is the result of a plan called “MAKE Ogden”, which was established in 2019. Ogden land has seen a drastic increase in apartment and townhome complexes over the last three years as part of this plan. With the cost of living still climbing and minimum wage in Utah still sitting at a low $7.25 an hour, frustration has risen surrounding the complexes, because the cost to live in them is too high for many to afford.
There have been many complaints about the lack of parking available on 25th Street already, with questions on how the new apartments will accommodate parking for residents. The MAKE Ogden Masterplan states that one of the goals for downtown Ogden is to facilitate an urban environment with higher foot traffic. While this can be beneficial for businesses downtown by bringing passersby to their doorsteps, some business owners also express concern.
Barbara Chrisman is the owner of the building that houses Endless Indulgence Retro Wear, which is closed permanently on November 30th. Chrisman says, “I own the two-story [building] next door. I knew it was going up when I bought the property, but when I see five stories next to my two-story, I wonder ‘What are they going to do about snow mediation?’ Snow from a five-story will blow off onto my two-story.”
Chrisman also expresses that many attempts were made to schedule an appointment with the planning manager before his retirement, but nothing came of it. MAKE Ogden did not respond to requests for comment on the building.
Locals are saddened by the views of Ogden’s beautiful landscape being obstructed, such as the one from the rooftop of one of the local bars, Alleged.
Where the sunset would once enhance a photo, the new complex now obstructs the view and locals don’t understand why.
It has been well-announced that there are specifications that must be met to build anything in “historic districts” in Ogden. Buildings must blend with the historic architecture and Historic 25th Street does not include five-story buildings, which means the complex stands much taller than anything else that surrounds it.
There is ongoing dialogue surrounding Ogden’s redevelopment, specifically the new apartment complex, with varying opinions, but the majority of commentary has been an expression of negative feelings. A common frustration for issues like this one is, “But, what can I do about it?”
Local resident, Wayne Russell, has an idea. He says, “Makes you mad enough to vote, doesn’t it?”
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