Ogden RDA sets public hearing on extending river project

Dec 14 2011 - 2:31pm

OGDEN -- The Ogden Redevelopment Agency board voted Tuesday night to hold a public hearing Jan. 17 on a proposal to extend the Ogden River Project Redevelopment Area's tax increment collection period by eight years.

The RDA board is made up of the city council.

The tax increment collection period for the Ogden River RDA is set to expire June 30, 2019. The extension would allow the RDA to collect tax increment through 2027.

Tax increment financing is a tool that captures projected property tax revenue created by a development and then allows those funds to be invested for improvements associated with the project.

The Ogden River RDA encompasses about 60 acres straddling the river from 18th to 20th streets and Washington Boulevard to Wall Avenue.

It takes in what is known as the Riverbend mixed-use project. The project includes the reclamation of the Ogden River, along with a walking trail, retail businesses and 730 dwellings, including townhouses, apartments and single-family homes.

The Ogden River RDA was established in 2002 and projected tax increment of about $14.2 million between 2005 and 2019.

However, the project has been delayed because of difficulty in acquiring property, the demolition of homes and poor economic conditions, said Richard McConkie, the city's director of community and economic development.

As a result, the Ogden River RDA has only generated about $205,000 in tax increment, he said. In addition, the city has already invested more than $3.5 million in the project.

McConkie said it is projected that total building expenses for the project through 2027 will be about $85 million, while tax increment is anticipated to reach $13.2 million.

The Ogden Redevelopment Agency would retain about $9.5 million in tax increment and would provide the remaining $3.7 million to other taxing entities, including Weber County, Weber School District, the state Board of Education and several others.

Under the proposal, tax increment would not go to developers of Riverbend, McConkie said.

The Ogden Redevelopment Agency would use its share of tax increment to fund infrastructure improvements in the Riverbend project, such as road construction, McConkie said.

Although the current collection period isn't set to expire until 2019, an extension is being sought now to ensure that there is planning for infrastructure improvements, McConkie said.

Work has started on The Meadows at Riverbend housing project, on about 6.1 acres, being built by SouthRiver LLC, based in Salt Lake City.

The project includes the construction of 69 townhomes on about 4 acres. Built on the remaining 2.1 acres will be 125 apartment units and 25,000 square feet of retail space. The entire project is slated to be completed by the end of 2014.

The city is continuing to negotiate with Millrock Development LLC of Holladay for the construction of housing and retail businesses for the remainder of Riverbend.

Millrock Development LLC is working with Gadi Leshem -- whose firm, Ogden Riverfront Development, is the main owner of Riverbend property -- to be the major partner in the project, city officials have said.

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