Dell Loy Hansen’s Wasatch Group recently purchased over 5 acres of land north of the Logan River and Riverwoods Conference Center from 600 South to 450 South, and from Main Street to 100 East. The combined properties are a prime location for future development. The purchase along the east side of Main Street displaced several businesses and five homes between the Logan River and Abbey Carpet.
One of those businesses displaced was Brown Monument, a multi-generational business that had been in the same location for 80 years. Jeannette Bell, who runs the business with her husband Aaron, said her grandfather started the business in 1928. And it had been located at 492 S. Main since that time.
The move was a tough thing for Bell, her three brothers and sister.
“We knew it was bound to happen, but it was still a hard move. There are a lot of memories,” she said. “When you go through 80 years of stuff, it’s hard to decide what you should keep and what to throw away.”
Bell said she tries not to think too much about the move. If she looks back she gets teary and then gets angry. So she looks to now and what the future could bring.
“I love my job,” she said. “We get calls from people that like what we do and are happy with the results.”
The family had to move the business during their busy time of year. It took three weeks to move to the new building and two months to move the equipment, Bell explained.
Over the years, people got to know where they were and looked for Brown Monument.
“We have had people drive by our business for years and when we moved people called and were afraid we closed up shop,” she said. “I reassured them we were still in business right here up the street.”
She bought a small yellow Victorian home just up the street at 450 S. Main and set up shop. The stone-carving part of the business was moved to Smithfield. Bell is not sure how long she will keep the business in the little yellow house, but she has no plans to sell it anytime soon.
“I bought it. We thought it was a nice location. And I bought it because I couldn’t be in a position to not be in control of my future,” Bell said. ”I like this house. I think I could see it here forever.”
Not only does Brown Monument sell and carve headstones, they also repair them and level them when they start to slump.
“We want people to know we didn’t disappear,” she said. “I love my job. We are still here and love to help people.”
The Logan City Council approved a plan to initiate the potential creation of what they are calling the South Main River Community Reinvestment Project Area.
Kirk Jensen, Logan City Economic Development Director, said “Such a plan, if approved by the council, utilizes tax increment financing to make redevelopment a more viable option for attracting developers to the site.”
Jensen said redevelopment of the property would likely be expensive because it may include removing buildings and existing infrastructure and refilling the area in preparation for building.
“I think the city is very supportive of the development. There are formal steps they will need to take to consider its participation in the development at later meetings,” Jensen said. “Such a development will enhance the entrance to the city and create jobs, commercial businesses, and a good tax base.”
If the development is like other Wasatch Property investments, it could include multi-unit housing or another hotel along Main Street with restaurants and retail to match the other holdings in the area. The project would not only potentially improve the entrance to Logan City, it would also create jobs and a tax base.
The new development will add to Wasatch Group’s $4 billion in holdings across five states, which includes the Riverwoods Conference and Convention Center, Riverwoods Shoppes, SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel, Elements Restaurant, Falls at Riverwoods, Four Seasons apartment complex in North Logan, Sports Academy and Racquett Club, Real Salt Lake Youth Academy in North Logan and other residential and commercial holdings throughout Cache Valley.