OGDEN — The parking garage behind the Weber Center is still standing, but plans to tear down the deteriorating structure are moving forward.
Earlier this month, the Ogden City Planning Commission reviewed Weber County’s plan to demolish the garage and develop a temporary surface parking lot. Because the structure is inside Ogden’s Central Business District, city approval of the plan is required.
Sitting on the northeast corner of 24th Street and Washington Boulevard, the Weber Center houses Weber County government offices as well as some private businesses. The parking garage is immediately to the east of the building, attached to it, and serves workers and patrons of the center.
Originally built in 1964, the parking garage has been falling apart in recent years. A 2015 structural evaluation by Salt Lake City-based Reaveley Engineers & Associates revealed the garage had stained, scaling and cracked concrete and corroded reinforcements. The evaluation also noted severe deterioration of structural elements, corroded light posts, railings and stairs, and inadequate drainage.
While the majority of space inside the garage is still open for use, Weber County Commissioner Scott Jenkins said the top floor has been closed.
“We’ve condemned the upper floor,” Jenkins said. “There were some chunks of cement falling, so no one can park up there now.”
According to site plan documents reviewed by the planning commission, the demolition of the garage and subsequent temporary parking lot will reduce the number of parking stalls at the Weber Center by more than 60 percent. The county is requesting the city allow for a reduction of stalls from 296 to 111.
With a relatively large parking cutback on the horizon, the county is working with surrounding properties to establish lease agreements that could provide nearly 300 temporary parking spots, but those wouldn’t be located on the Weber Center property. The temporary parking is necessary because the county is eyeing a larger scale development at the site, to include permanent parking.
According to planning commission documents, the county has committed to redevelop the site or at least reestablish minimum parking standards within three to five years.
Jenkins said a precise timeframe for demolition hasn’t been identified, but hopes that work will begin with the next year.