OGDEN, Utah -- The city of Ogden has a number of new developments in the works, including homes, office space, a senior living community and a hotel—and all would be built right across the street from the LDS Temple.
"We feel that this is some of the most valuable property in the city because of its location," said Brandon Cooper, Deputy Director of Community and Economic Development for the city of Ogden.
He is referring to the 3.5 acre lot on Washington Boulevard across from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Ogden Temple, 340 East 22nd Street.
"From a spiritual perspective, having a temple in your downtown is amazing; but from an economic development perspective, it's something we've been very excited about and grateful to have," Cooper said.
The LDS Church, which owns the land, is working together with the city to develop it. Their plans include office space, senior living and a hotel.
"So we are always trying to find that secret sauce, a special recipe of the right type of businesses in the right places," Cooper said. "We have one shot at this."
As for residential development, the city already got the green light to build 20 single-family homes on another vacant lot they own just two blocks from the temple on the corner of 22nd Street and Adams Avenue.
"We are going to have those patrons visiting the temple and visiting us, and it's super exciting to see the growth and to be a part of that," said Todd Crawford, Operations Manager for Farr Better Ice Cream.
Farr Better Ice Cream has been around for 97 years. Crawford has been scooping chocolate and vanilla for the past 10. He said all this new development is tremendous for Ogden businesses like his that are near the temple.
"Now there is a revitalization to the area so we are bringing in hotels, and businesses, and housing all over, and we are going to reap the reward for that," Crawford said.
The city expects to break ground on those 20 new homes later this summer. As for the senior center and the hotel, those are still awaiting final approval.