Ogden City, together with the Redevelopment Agency and local and federal partners, is working to achieve the vision of the Ogden Business Exchange, a 51-acre master planned business park located at the historic Ogden Union Stockyards.
Beginning in 1917 and running through the late 1970s, the Ogden Union Stockyards dominated the livestock industry in the west and provided one of the largest economic engines within the city. Over 2.4 million head of sheep, hogs, cattle, and horses made its way through the stockyards in the peak year of 1949, resulting in over $87 million in annual revenue – the equivalent of $1.3 billion in today’s dollars. Adding to this enormous impact were three packing houses, all of which generated vast revenues themselves and added over 150 employees to the already 100 plus employed at the stockyards. The railroad may have helped establish Ogden’s presence as a western hub, but it was the livestock industry and the prominence of the Ogden Union Stockyards that fueled Ogden’s wealth and prosperity.
As the trains gave way to over-the-road trucking and modern efficiencies, the relevancy of the Stockyard dwindled. Sadly, the Ogden Union Stockyards were closed in January 1971. Forty-three years of neglect and decay have left the proud stockyards a ghost of what once was. Standing as a window to the past is the Exchange Building, the original administrative offices of the livestock operation. Constructed in 1931, the Exchange Building reminds us that history is the foundation on which the future is built; an ever-present cry that begs us to rebuild. This time, the glory of the stockyards will not come from cows and sheep, but from technology and industry. And the Exchange Building will be at the center of it all!
The Ogden Business Exchange is designed to be more than a collection of buildings and roads. Its proximity to the Weber River and internal walking/bike paths encourages a connection to the active outdoor recreation lifestyle that abounds in Ogden and its unique layout will embody the history of the site through open space development and preservation of important elements.
The City and Redevelopment Agency are working to secure development funding from local and federal sources.