The Monarch Mixed-Use Redevelopment

Award Category: 
Real Estate
Property Name: 
The Monarch Mixed-Use Redevelopment
Thaine Fischer, 455 25th Street, LLC
Ogden, Utah

The Monarch Mixed‐Use Redevelopment involves the adaptive reuse of the historic Ben Lomond Garage. In 1927, Archie Bigelow unveiled the Bigelow Hotel and Ben Lomond Garage. Over the years, the garage located at the corner of 25th and Ogden Avenue has been occupied by a variety of automobile‐related businesses. During the 1990s it was repurposed with multiple restaurant / nightlife businesses. Due to the condition of the building all businesses were vacated due to the condition of the property in 2008. It’s been vacant since.

The 58,000 square‐foot building, placed on the national historic register in 2012, will be redeveloped into a creative and arts‐focused mixed‐use development. Ogden City has worked diligently to revitalize the Adams Community Reinvestment Area, acquiring the crime‐ridden hotel adjacent to the Project for demolition, as well as creating the “Nine Rails Creative District”, connecting the Historic 25th Street and Jefferson historic districts in downtown Ogden. An architecturally significant example of the Spanish Colonial Revival movement, the Project is a key element in this plan, catalyzing development in the area and closing the “gap” between districts to form a single walkable corridor. The Project will restore this architectural gem, improving the appearance and usability of the building which is vital to achieving Ogden City’s goals and create a cohesive arts corridor.

With 58,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and event space, The Monarch will be anchored by a purposeful collective of tenants and provides a unique opportunity to develop a destination neighborhood venue. The Monarch will offer restaurant, retail and event space (2500 – 10,000 sq. ft.), exhibit and collaborative space (3000

– 4500 sq. ft.), and artisan and designer creative studios (300 – 1500 sq. ft.) A “makerspace” is anticipated to be included, providing local small businesses with access to valuable shared space, resources and equipment at a low monthly rate. The Monarch will be the epicenter of the Nine Rails Creative District and will be the future home to artisans, designers, and creatives of all types as well as creating space for community non‐profit organizations to host exhibits, activities, educational and cultural events.

The redevelopment of the Ben Lomond Garage building will bring much‐needed community and economic benefits to a highly‐distressed census tract in Ogden. More than 30 percent of the households in the area are living at or below the poverty line and the unemployment rate is 20.1% percent – 2.54x higher than the national average. In total, the Project expects to create 160 new, permanent jobs, including 60 artist jobs. The majority of the jobs created will be filled by residents of the low‐income community. The economic impact of the development on the Nine Rails Creative District, the city of Ogden and the entire surrounding metropolitan area will be significant. Financing for the $10.5 million transaction included $8 million in NMTC allocation from DV Community Investment, LLC, $1 million in in NMTC allocation provided by Chase New Markets Corporation, NMTC equity provided by Chase Community Equity, LLC, conventional financing from Zions Bank, and $1.7 million in Historic Tax Credits. In total, over $10 million in tax credit financing will be utilized to redevelop the Ben Lomond Garage historic building.

The Monarch Mixed‐Use Redevelopment has strong support from Ogden City, Weber County, the local Chamber of Commerce, Ogden Convention & Visitors Bureau, and various other organizations. Once an example of severe blight in the city of Ogden, The Monarch Mixed‐Use Redevelopment hosted a Groundbreaking Ceremony attended by local public officials and many members of the local community on April 6, 2018, and is on course to the transform the Ben Lomond Garage building and bring renewed vibrancy and economic activity into the local neighborhood and be a catalyst for additional projects in the community.