Late last June, Burnswest Properties officials, building partners, and town officials gathered to officially break the ground for the first phases of Greystone.
Just over a year later, Cochrane's newest neighbourhood held its official opening on Sept. 23. A steady flow of people circulated through the model homes and sales centres while to the east the new Discovery Centre was opened to promote the commercial opportunities Greystone offers.
"A couple of residents are already here, so it's a very mature grand opening," says Josh Hagen, vice-president of development at Burnswest Properties, at the grand opening. "There's been a lot of sales, and we're looking forward to hopefully helping our builders by getting some more here today."
"Within the next month, our first six phases of development will be completed from a builders' perspective, we're having sales continue to happen, and we're looking forward to next year's program as well."
The 2024 program will include the development of sports fields in close proximity to the SLS Centre. There will be two 300' ball diamonds and as many as 20 pickleball courts. Application has been made for government funding by the local pickleball community to assist with adding significantly more courts to the area. Whether the group was successful should be known sometime in December.
The Ocgrow Group of Companies is the largest developer in Greystone, with both commercial and residential properties.
"It's going fabulous," says Harish Consul, Ocgrow president and CEO. "Ocgrow is really excited to be launching the Discovery Centre today with Burnswest. We've got record interesting in the commercial and retail. We're going to be announcing several new tenants in the coming weeks, and we couldn't more more excited about Cochrane's growth ahead."
A residential development they've named Vertos is already half sold since being launched earlier this summer, says Consul. It's a collection of 150 condos and townhomes.
"We've started construction already. The first phase should be ready for next summer, early fall."
It has also struck up a working relationship with the SLS Centre, which had information available in Greystone for the grand opening.
Calgary Co-op has put up a sign highlighting their future location by the SLS Centre.
Hagen says the grocer is in the final stages of receiving approval from the town and aiming to open in the spring of 2025.
Advanced discussions have taken place for the highly-anticipated new hotel.
"We're hoping to get the paperwork signed here in the next couple of weeks, and we'll go from there," he says. "I've envisioned a hotel as being something that may not occur until closer to the middle stages of development, but there's been some great interest in getting that locked down."
Cochrane Mayor Jeff Genung says people have been watching the development start to take shape as they drive along Griffin Rd. For him, it has been a chance to reminisce about driving gravel truck for his family's excavation company in his youth.
"I've probably been in and out of this gravel pit 1,000 times."
"It's been cool watching as I've driven back and forth to the rec centre, as so many Cochranites have done, to see the pond take shape, the pathways, and now the landscaping. It's incredible. There are the opportunities it's going to bring commercially with Co-op, a hotel chain, and then some higher density residential, which we need in Cochrane."
He's pleased Greystone has given high priority to completing recreational and leisure amenities.
"They've listened about having the amenities in place in early phases. The sports fields will take shape here very soon, and the trails, pond, and everything else are already here. People can understand what they're buying into and not be promised something and then hope for it to come in future years. That was a real push by town council."
The Discovery Centre oversees the large pond, which is already the adopted home of some waterfowl.
"We planned for them to be here today," says Consul with tongue-in-cheek. "They were going to fly south, but we told them to hold off for our grand opening today."
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