Sunday, February 01, 2009

Std-Ex: Demolition Begins At Ogden Wal-mart Site

And one more argument weighing in favor of an Ogden streetcar system

By Curmudgeon

Development is back in the news this morning, with the Standard-Examiner reporting that demolition at the future Ogden Wal-mart site has begun, forty some odd buildings being razed. Within the article, Std-Ex reporter Schwebke also devotes some ink to the "Ogden River Project."

All of which made a story in this morning's Salt Lake Trib even more interesting.

The story reports that Salt Lake City has approved a new development plan for what remains of the historic Sugar House Granite Block area. The Granite Block itself was bulldozed to make way for a mega high rise glass and steel multi-use project [think "River Project" on steroids?]. Thriving small businesses in the historic block were forced out, the buildings razed, a huge ditch dug... and there things stand now, as the developer lost his financing in the crash. [He claims he has financing now "with dangling participles," whatever the hell that means.]

A new plan to develop the area just west of the big ditch has now been approved. It's emphasis is on preserving and rehabing the neighborhoods historic commercial architecture, and resurrecting it as an eclectic and thriving small "downtown," as it was before the Granite Block was bull-dozed.

And what is the key to making it all work as a thriving neighborhood again? From the story:

City Councilman Soren Simonsen says there are many "favorable" elements to Red Mountain's plan, including the hotel. But it only works, he argues, if the streetcar eventually is built. Simonsen notes the surrounding streets are too often clogged with cars and cannot afford more congestion.
"We've got to have additional systems in place to accommodate it," he said.
Nelson agrees, and both men note the streetcar is Mayor Ralph Becker's top transit priority. Once finished, Nelson predicts both projects will blend as that urban-planning buzzword: a transit-oriented development.
The story did not say whether Mayor Becker has considered a gondola instead.

2 comments:

RJ Svengali said...

Ogden really does not need another five and dime retailer; except for a coffer semi-full of sales tax dollars, how does having a discount retailer do anything for the beauty of downtown?
A retailer known for poor service, poor treatment of the workforce, and poorly made cheap plastic Chinese manufactured junk?

We are of the mind that a Walmart development should have been put through a ringer to get approval, and then been force to locate out west of the tracks, in a new business district.

We love this town.

Kyle G said...

have you read this also?:
http://www.ogdencity.com/mayor.editorial.html

They say that wal marts' excess traffic will actually help the local economy...
I think competition is healthy for an economy, but what if walmart stomps out harmons, smiths, ect..?

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