Demolition begins on troubled apartment project in Ogden
Dec 28, 2023, 5:07 PM | Updated: 6:32 pm
OGDEN — A demolition crew started tearing large pieces of the troubled Union Walk Apartments early Thursday along 25th Street, taking care to make sure debris doesn’t fall on neighboring buildings and pedestrian traffic.
Construction for the project was initially halted last March after building inspectors for Ogden City determined that the proper fire-retardant-treated lumber was not being used. Inspectors later discovered more than a dozen additional safety and building code concerns, leading them to deem the building unsafe.
Thursday, several people watched as pieces of the building came down.
— Mike Anderson (@mikeandersonKSL) December 28, 2023
“It just breaks my heart, seeing somebody put their energy in building this and doing it so, so poorly,” James Dayley, part-owner of the nearby Two-Bit Street Cafe said. “The scariest part of this was just when we started learning how dangerous it was.”
For months, Ogden kept the building under a fire watch, both by live staff and with surveillance cameras. City spokesperson Mike McBride said it is a relief that they were able to avoid any injury or incident.
“We really were concerned with people gaining access,” McBride explained. “And so we’ve taken great care to make sure that everything was secured throughout the throughout the process.”
The developer for the project, Summa Terra Ventures told KSL TV in September that its contractor at the time, Makers Line, strayed from the original plans they had agreed upon with an architect, ultimately putting the project in danger.
KSL later discovered multiple court filings that showed Makers Line owed hundreds of thousands of dollars to several sub-contractors for various projects. KSL received confirmation in October that Makers Line was shuttering its doors, and laying off employees.
It’s not currently clear whether the developer will restart and rebuild, but McBride said it was their choice to demolish.
“This is a developer decision,” McBride said. “They had options throughout the process and just opted to demo.”
Summa Terra Ventures CEO Mike Watson said in October that it had hired a new contractor, Rich Development, and intended to make all of the proper changes to move forward safely and well within building code guidelines. Watson however did not respond to questions today about whether they intend to rebuild.