City council approves redesignation in Cooper’s Crossing for shopping centre
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:13 am
Airdrie’s southwest corner could see a brand new shopping centre as early as 2016 as City council unanimously approved the redesignation of 4.9 hectares of land in Cooper’s Crossing.
The plot of land sits at the corner of Eight Street and 40th Avenue and while it is considered part of Cooper’s Crossing, it sits directly adjacent to Windsong to the west and Hillcrest to the south.
“When completed, this centre will be able to service between 6,000 and 10,000 people,” said Airdrie Planner William Czaban during a May 20 council meeting.
The 4.9 hectares of land was rezoned from Urban Holding (UH) to Direct Control (DC) and will not only accommodate retail needs, but help strike a balance in the City’s growth plans to maintain 25 per cent non-residential land use.
Rod Gerla, president of Cooper’s Crossing developers Westmark Holdings, spoke to council about the benefits of the proposed shopping centre.
“This will really encourage walking and cycling in the area,” said Gerla. “Cooper’s Crossing was designed early on to have a network of pathways and not only be a walkable community but create connectivity between neighbouring subdivisions.”
Gerla went on to explain that construction should be underway in 2016 once a sufficient customer base has taken up residence in Cooper’s Crossing and nearby communities, though he says there is already buzz about the shopping centre right now.
“I was in one of our showhomes the other day and one resident came in to talk to me and was asking me when the shopping centre is going to be built,” he said. “What I really think people will like is the convenience this will create, no one should have to travel more than a mile to access their daily needs.”
Alderman Kelly Hegg addressed the potential aesthetics of the project, asking Gerla about the appearance of the proposed shopping centre.
“I look at commercial areas farther up Eighth Street or the area that faces onto Main Street, and I’m hoping that for the next stage of this project, you’ll be looking at setting it a little farther back (from the road) to make it more aesthetically pleasing and to keep with the standard that the rest of Cooper’s Crossing has set,” said Hegg.
Gerla said he and his team at Westmark Holdings will keep the desires of council in mind when designing the site.
“I think so far we’ve done a pretty reasonable job with the housing portion,” said Gerla. “We hope that we can satisfy the needs of council and others.”