A celebration in the community to mark a milestone of Cochrane’s upcoming Greystone community took place last weekend with a grand opening event of the Greystone Commercial Discovery Centre on Sept. 23.
Harish Consul, president and CEO of Ocgrow Group, the largest developer in Greystone, said the grand opening marks the beginning of the future 300,000 square feet of retail space and commercial space coming to Cochrane.
Josh Hagen, vice president of development for Burnswest Properties, added to Consul’s thoughts, outlining that he is thrilled to have the Discovery Centre open and what it means for the future of the community.
“Like our motto says – live, work, and play,” Hagen said. “It’s pretty unique to have 150 acres in the heart of any municipality’s downtown area, next to the river and rec centre, so people of all people from all walks of live are coming to live here, and that brings vibrancy and we are excited to see that.”
With several amenities surrounding Cochrane, Consul said it places the community in a unique area that will be further elevated by the upcoming community.
“It’s amazing to live in a community that is 25 minutes from the airport, 45 minutes from Banff, and is the fastest growing region in western Canada,” Consul said. “We are super excited. Live, work, and play. It’s the best community in Canada.”
The event also hosted Mayor Jeff Genung who shared his thoughts on the opening.
“It’s incredible,” Genung said. “I was just chatting with Jim and Pat Burns, the operator of the gravel pit that operated here in 1976 I think, to see that . . . transform into a neighbourhood, vibrant community with amenities is really rewarding and incredible.”
As a longtime project in the making, Genung said it is an important piece that addresses the growth needs for Cochrane, via an alternate route.
“This is one of many opportunities Cochrane’s going to have in our future of redeveloping land in our downtown core,” Genung said. “The easy thing for cities or communities to do is to add and do the urban sprawl thing, and take up more farmland and agricultural land, but this is a good example of how we can take something and turn it into something else that’s going to benefit all residents in the future, and we have that opportunity in other areas coming up as well.”
Although Genung said that there is a little pushback regarding growth, he said that Greystone is the only development that town council has approved since 2017.
“This is the first one that council has put our stamp on, and I think it is just a jewel in the middle of our community,” Genung said.