“My Utah is a family business. My Bank is family owned.”

Standing amid the beginnings of the Browns Meadow development in Eagle Mountain, Utah, Howard Schmidt and his son, Garrett Schmidt, take in the breathtaking view. "It's a little remote, but it's some of the most beautiful scenery of anywhere around," Howard said.

A seasoned developer, he aims for mindful projects that cater to the evolving needs of Utah's residents — from the convenience of modern apartments to the expansive allure of rural living. Browns Meadow is one of his latest undertakings, offering an ideal haven for those seeking the tranquility of the countryside.

The Story Behind the Schmidts

Growing up on a family farm in West Jordan, Howard and his brother began to notice a pressing need for housing as they got older and as their hometown expanded. Responding to the call, they pooled their resources and passion for development and created Braemar Construction in 1977, setting the foundation for a family legacy.

While Howard didn't know off the top of his head exactly how many lots he's developed in the 46 years since, he estimates they've developed 400-600 lots just in the last five. "It’s been successful, and you just can't give up on something successful," he noted, underscoring the sentiment of commitment and continuity that has defined his company's journey for four decades.

Garrett and Howard Schmidt
Howard Schmidt (right) and his son, Garrett Schmidt, stand on the site of what will be the Browns Meadow subdivision in Eagle Mountain, Utah.

The Banker and the Banking Products

It hasn't been a solitary journey. The Schmidts found invaluable support in a trusted partner — Bank of Utah, another family-owned, local business. What began as a relationship with a small community bank in Draper blossomed into a years-long collaboration, one built on mutual respect and shared values. Kelly Crane-Hale, SVP team leader and commercial lender at Bank of Utah, became more than just a loan officer; she became part of the Schmidt family story.

"We originally did our banking with Draper Bank. It was a small community bank that Kelly worked for; she had taken over our account and was making sure we were doing things right and helping us with our projects. When she went to work at Bank of Utah, we felt it was worth moving with her because we enjoyed working with her so much. She’s smart and reliable, and we’ve had a great relationship with her for close to 40 years now," Howard said.

From navigating the intricacies of financing to celebrating milestones and overcoming challenges, Bank of Utah has been there every step of the way. It has provided the financial backing for many projects, but more importantly, the bank has always shared the Schmidts' dream of creating community.

A Bond Built on Genuine Commitment

As Browns Meadow unfolds, the legacy continues. Garrett, Howard's son, stands beside him, inheriting not just development plans, but the family's and company's values. "There are many things I love in this industry. It's seeing a piece of land and envisioning what it can be. It's meeting people and creating networks. It's learning from my dad, who has always been such a smart and honest man," Garrett said.

"With Bank of Utah by our side, we'll keep building communities that resonate with Utah," he pledged.

Howard wholeheartedly agreed. "One of the things we truly appreciate about Bank of Utah is its genuine commitment to being a community bank. While many banks claim to know their customers and appreciate their business, Bank of Utah embodies that philosophy through its active involvement in building and supporting our communities. Throughout Ogden, Utah County and the Salt Lake Valley — all across Utah, really — the bank consistently champions our communities."