Borden milk plant transformed to urban Lofts

Dole Smith cleans the counter tops of a new apartment in the Borden Condensed Milk Plant located at 290 400 W in Logan. There our 51 living spaces in th eold factory.

LOGAN – Some people must have thought Tony Johnson was a little off center when he said he was going to turn the Borden condensed milk factory into apartments. The building has a new life now with incredible, innovative spaces for families, singles and businesses at the corner of 300 South and 400 West in Logan.

Carl Dehadway, the project superintendent, was key to making the living spaces functional and solving building issues along the way.

After four years working on Borden Lofts apartments, the finished product has a stand out urban feel. There are 51 different apartments and 20 different styles with a modern mix of an industrial look. When Johnson looked at the building he must have thought he could turn it into something special, and he did.

Johnson’s construction company, Techone Construction, did most of the work.

There is nothing like this anywhere north of Salt Lake,” Johnson said. “It took two years to get all the approvals and another two to build it.”

Because it is an adaptive reuse of a historical building he had to jump through some hoops with the National Park Service.

This is not Johnson’s first restoration project, he also took the old Desert Industries and turned it into a restaurant complex with Sabores and Beehive Grill and some commercial spaces. He also had some projects on Federal Avenue.

The garage doors of the Borden Lofts were converted into walls of light for some of the different living spaces on March 23.

The Borden building was built in three phases. The earliest was, he thought, built in the early 1900’s. The second phase, on the west side, during the 1930’s, and the east side was built in the ‘60’s.

The building is part of the National Park Service historic preservation efforts. The dairy industry was a big industry at one time.

Lorenzo Hansen, a dairy visionary, built the building in 1903 as a condensed milk facility, his life story said. He was the first in the valley to buy milk from area farmers and sell it to the creamery trade. In 1911, he sold the building to the Borden’s company. Hansen was elected as the 12th mayor of Logan.

The stair steps were fashioned from some of the original lumber found on site.

“Besides the one in Logan, Hansen had a milk plant in Wellsville and another in Richmond,” Johnson said.

We incorporated a lot of the original brick walls, thick wood beams and original windows into the design of each apartment,” said Carl Dehadway, the project superintendent. “We also made the elevator shaft and the tool vault into the design of the apartments.”

The ground floors are polished concrete as are the counter tops and the steps are made of repurposed lumber from the building.

“The large garage doors have been turned into glass garage doors that don’t open. They make great large widows,” Dehadway said. “We also have nine offices with living quarters incorporated in them.”

A common room was built where the bare bricks of the round smoke stack are visible and integrated into the the design. The second level uses the same smoke stack as part of the room that could be used for gatherings.

The Borden Lofts has three penthouse apartments with three levels each.

“This was not a cookie cutter apartment complex,” Dehadway said. “It is the most unique and fun building I have done for Tony in the 15 years I have worked for him.”

Carl Dehadway, the project superintendent, explains how the round smokestack was incorporated into two common rooms for gatherings on Monday Nov.23

The complex will have a complete laundry facility for residents.

Jeremy Wiberg, who also worked on the project, said the building was a Pandora’s Box.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “It fits within the whole Logan City branding.”

Johnson is one of the few people that could pull something like this off, he said. Ardent Property Management will handle all of the leasing of the apartments.

The Grand Opening is on hold for a time due to COVID-19 and social distancing.

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7 Comments

  • Michael Moser April 2, 2020 at 12:16 pm Reply

    My Grandfather worked there until his retirement. I have his 25year photo, & dinner program that was held at Bluebird. The home he built down the street at 341 S is still there. Somewhere I still have his lunch can with his initials painted on, “AFL.” Thank you for making this spot useful again. I’m sure he and his Borden friends are happy! I sure would love to peer inside!

  • Deedee April 2, 2020 at 1:18 pm Reply

    That is amazing. I live to see old buildings and history preserved. Awesome. Thank you for the article.

  • Janet Wayman April 3, 2020 at 10:01 am Reply

    My dad and grandfather worked there during the depression. They lived on the same street. When they tested the canned milk my grandpa took the opened cans home. My grandmother made a pie called Eagle Brand pie. It is a family favorite. I am excited to drive by and see this landmark transformed.

  • Keith Laursen April 5, 2020 at 3:01 pm Reply

    Thank you saving apart of Cache Valley History When others seem to get rid of, would like a tour

  • Ash Campbell April 6, 2020 at 1:56 pm Reply

    When Tony johnson has a vision it usually turns out to be amazing! Bravo Mr. Johnson! Well done!

  • Martha Hurd April 11, 2020 at 6:00 pm Reply

    The Milk plant in Richmond was Sego Milk. I had an Uncle that worked there for years

  • Shauna April 27, 2020 at 7:15 am Reply

    this is incredible I can’t wait for the grand opening! For a spot in one of the miraculous unit how does one go about that?
    Thank you for keeping it beautiful but making it gorgeous

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