City of Bryan Working to Swap Land With Business Burned by Flames

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A land swap is in the works for a local business that burned to the ground in January.

Court's Saddlery will leave its former location in historic downtown Bryan. The City of Bryan is offering options including, more acreage in another area.

Both the City and Court family want to make sure the historic business stays in Bryan.

"We have been operating out of four locations," said Kathy Court. "It has been a challenge but, we are doing it."

Kathy Court is one of the owners of Court's Saddlery. She manages the office out of her home since, a fire destroyed their headquarters in downtown Bryan, back in January.

"We won't be building in downtown," said Court. "We are looking for property."

The saddle maker does not fit into the current restaurant and retail landscape of downtown Bryan. Although, the Deputy City Manager, Joey Dunn, said a zoning ordinance could be changed to accommodate the family business which, has been located in downtown since 1968.

Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski told News 3 via phone, the City of Bryan is in the beginning stages of a deal to swap land with the Court family. The mayor says Court's Saddlery could move to a permanent location in one of Bryan's business parks. The City says the business is looking at 10 to 25 acres.

"They are apart of our history and we want to preserve that," said Dunn. "We are trying to offer options, land swap is one of them."

As for the current location, the debris is still being cleared. Mayor Bienski says the City of Bryan does not have any set plans for the lot.

"We've put a lot of dollars into renovating Main Street, said Dunn. "We want to see something on that block that has a lot activity."

As for the Courts, they are hard at work still, operating in the interim.

"We are very fortunate to have a community that has been so understanding and supportive," said Court.

The City of Bryan hopes to have the deal complete as soon as possible.