The addition of a third floor to the Garmin Building, 30 Bow St., is expected to get underway in March and take about a year to complete.
Today, Garmin Canada Inc. announced the expansion of its Canadian headquarters in Cochrane which will create another 200 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs in Cochrane, bringing their total workforce to just under 400.
It was just four years ago Garmin established its new home in heart of The Quarry, its sixth location in Cochrane.
"So when we actually built this, I was like, this is it. I don't actually want to move again," explains Jim Rooney, managing director of Garmin Canada. "So we specifically designed this building so we could add that third floor. The elevator already goes up to what is going to be the third floor, and the stairwells already go up there, so it's fun to capitalize on a vision that we had and make the third floor happen."
The indications were there 18 months ago during COVID for the need to add a third floor, he says.
"I guess on paper we knew how much we'd grown, even through that time," he says. "But it wasn't until we started preparing to get everyone back into the office again and planning that out, that all of a sudden it was like, wow, we're really filling up the building fast. We'd better start thinking about the next step."
There is expected to be minimal impact on Garmin's operation during the construction, with the potential disruptive work being completed in the evening.
It was in 1998 that four engineers in Cochrane put their minds together to revolutionize the sport and fitness industry. They created Dynastream Innovations, a company that got its start in Rooney's garage. In 2006, Garmin acquired Dynastream and expanded the team's research and development on fitness, outdoor and wireless products.
Now the Cochrane team has almost 200 associates, 150 of them full-time STEM positions.
Rooney is passionate about Cochrane and believes it remains the ideal home for the company.
"Cochrane is such a great play to live work and play, and we have the whole community that's here and engaged with what we do. If we moved to Calgary, we won't have that. We won't have the influence we have here and we won't have that community to back us."
Mayor Jeff Genung says Cochrane is an ideal place for companies to call home because of its proximity to the mountains and international airport, abundant amenities, large trail network, and beautiful river valley, all bundled together with small-town charm.
"They're all the things we're trying to protect and build upon deliberately, and I think that's starting to pay off," says Genung. "It's no secret, and it doesn't happen by accident, that out of all the locations and talent around the world, Garmin Canada is being successful in attracting that talent here.
"I understand they've hired people from all over the world. I mean, they can pick anywhere on the planet to work, and they've chosen Cochrane. That's exciting. I think it's going to catch the attention of other global tech companies that maybe will take a second look at Cochrane, and maybe consider choosing here."
Garmin Canada has three divisions that work seamlessly to help bring products from concept through to production. Connectivity, wearable platform technology, and products all play integral roles in driving the research, development, and design of the wide array of fitness and outdoor products sold today.