Ogden Project Unites History, Nature, Industry, and Sport

This week marks another milestone in Ogden City’s bid to become the outdoor recreation capital of the West with the kickoff of the Ogden Business Exchange Project.  Nicknamed “Trackline”, the project is a proposed industrial/business park that will serve as a hub of activity for bike, bike-related, and otherwise outdoor products companies.  Over the past 6-months, Io Landscape Architecture has been working closely with city officials to create a master plan for the entire 60-acre site that was once the home of the nationally renown Ogden Stockyards.

Located just west of the rail yard, and north of 24th Street, the site sits adjacent to the Weber River, and the river parkway trail system.  It’s industrial past combined with ease of access to 1-15 make it an ideal site for the proposed ‘bike’ park.

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As a prominent western railroad hub, Ogden City was once home to the largest livestock market west of Denver.  In 1929, the Ogden stockyards processed over 250 carloads of cattle, 200 carloads of sheep, and 100 carloads of hogs every single day.  Today the stockyards are a vacant ghost town of crumbling infrastructure and industrial dereliction.  The site contains a wealth of historic infrastructure, including pens, loading chutes, art-deco watering troughs, and patterned concrete, along with the Art Deco Stock Exchange Building.  The building along with some of the site features will be restored and integrated into the proposed design of the new project, in an effort to educate the public about the site’s rich history.

Our approach to the site design was to orient the proposed new buildings toward the river, creating an extension of the river parkway system (called the Trackline Promenade) that will re-use historic concrete loading chutes and paving, as part of a pedestrian/bike path that encircles the entire site.  Parking is tucked away on the interior of the site and is accessed by a service road.  The purpose of the design is to capitalize on the river as an amenity, and to create an environment where employees of the potential new companies will be encouraged to bike to work.

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The proposed master plan identifies up to 12acres of new industrial buildings, as well as associated parking/delivery/storage spaces.  In addition to the pedestrian/bike circulation listed above, the Master Plan also identifies stream-bank restoration, preservation and interpretation of historic elements, and a network of bio-swales with native vegetation.

This project is going to be a great boon to the city of Ogden.  The site design and amenities will help potential businesses to build their outdoor brands, while working to attract and retain high-quality employees.  The entire city will benefit from the economic development stemming from the project, and will enjoy access to the trails and open space networks as an extension of Ogden’s already extensive trail system.  It has been a privilege to get to work on such a high-profile and truly dynamic project.  We hope our work will do justice to the legacy of the original stockyards, as the site and people of Ogden enter a new era in the city’s ongoing history.

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