Ogden City looking to tab prominent bank building as historical resource

Thursday , July 05, 2018 - 5:00 AM3 comments

OGDEN — The Ogden City administration is seeking to protect the old First Security Bank building from demolition or redevelopment that would significantly alter its historic character.

A proposal to designate Ogden’s tallest building as a “historic resource” on the Ogden City Register of Historic Resources will soon be voted on by the City Council.

RELATED: Several historic, vacant buildings in Ogden prime for upgrades

According to council documents, such a designation would require significant changes (including demolition) to be approved by the city’s Landmarks Commission, a body that would issue a Certificate of Historic Appropriateness for any proposed changes.

Located at 2404 Washington Boulevard, the former commercial bank building is also included in the city’s Adams Community Reinvestment Area.

The Adams CRA includes a 150-acre section of Ogden between 23rd and 28th streets from Washington Boulevard to Jefferson Avenue — an area that includes commercial retail and residential buildings, with a significant number of historic properties.

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City officials have championed the massive project, saying that redeveloping the area will stimulate economic growth, bring jobs and connect the downtown central business district with neighborhoods in east-central Ogden.

There’s about $124 million in potential construction projects associated with the CRA, including the renovation of several decades-old, vacant buildings. 

RELATED: Plan to redevelop neighborhood east of Ogden's downtown moving forward

The CRA calls for a $21 million reconstruction of the bank building, a project that could turn it into a mixed-use facility with 70 residential units, 16,000 square feet of commercial space and 82,000 square feet of retail space.

The structure was built in 1926 and also functioned as a bank building for Wells Fargo when the company bought out First Security in 2000. A large Wells Fargo sign still remains on top of the building, though it’s been vacant for years.

The Landmarks Commission reviewed the designation proposal and forwarded a recommendation of approval to the council.

According to Weber County property records, the building is currently owned by an entity called Financially Fit Holding Corporation (FFHC), based in West Jordan.

Representing the ownership group, Dell Nichols sent Ogden City an email saying the owners don’t plan to demolish the building and would not sell to anyone who does. In the email, Nichols said FFHC would prefer the city not place the building on the historic register because it could limit redevelopment flexibility.

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook at facebook.com/mitchshaw.standardexaminer.

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