Following the successful opening of the Calgary Farmers’ Market last summer in its new Greenwich community, Alberta-based Melcor Developments has launched plans for close to 400,000 square feet of commercial development in the quickly growing neighbourhood.
Mathew Backhouse, leasing manager at Melcor (MRD-T), said total commercial development will include 10 to 12 buildings which will be central to the 59-acre mixed-use site, just east of the market and near the residential townhomes.
“In an ideal situation, we would like to be built-out and complete in five years,” Backhouse said, “but it’s all kind of market-dependent. So it’s always variable. But I would say five years is the target.”
In August, the Calgary Farmers’ Market launched its second location in the city in a new 55,000-square-foot building with 67 local and regional vendors.
In addition to the farmers’ market, another building has been completed with Market Wines, Pet Planet and Analog Coffee now open for business.
Construction ongoing in Greenwich
Two other buildings are also close to being completed, likely in the next two months.
One building is a single-storey with patios, geared to food-service users to interface with the farmers’ market in a central walkway area.
The other building is a two-storey with retail and food on the main floor and the second floor geared for office and personal service uses.
The development is located along the busy TransCanada Highway and Stoney Trail, the city’s ring road. The development is projecting about 2,500 permanent residents in the community at full build-out with about 1,000 housing units.
The residential component will feature condos and townhomes.
“This is a mixed-use village. We are obviously looking for good restaurant and retail uses. We’re trying to put an emphasis and run in line with the farmers’ market and have good local established groups and operators,” Backhouse explained.
“We’re also trying to provide some of the professional services like medical. We’re looking to attract everything from pharmacy to veterinary to dental – all of those sorts of uses.
"We would like to have some of those restaurant groups with the patios and basically a full community centre in this location, something like you would see in a Marda Loop (southwest Calgary) or some of those other kind of infill areas throughout the city.”
Inspiration from New York's Greenwich Village
Backhouse said the development is inspired by Greenwich Village in New York.
“We’ve upgraded the architecturals, we want higher-end brick product. There’s a feel and a vibe to Greenwich," he said. "We don’t want it to be just a one-stop-and-go sort of thing. It’s a destination community.
"We’re really promoting lifestyle and the way it’s laid out with walking and the pathway system. We’ve got an off-leash dog park, we’ve got a community garden, we’ve got playgrounds. . . .
"We’re really trying to have it be more of an experience and have it focus on an overall experience and vibe versus a massive, massive commercial centre.”
Alistair Corbett, senior vice-president, retail advisory and transaction services for CBRE, which is working with Melcor to lease property at Greenwich, said the overall development will include about 175,000 square feet of retail development.
“Their (Melcor) theme and their vision has always been very local. It is not full of national brand chains at all,” he said.
More accessible neighbourhood
Corbett said the site’s appeal is its accessibility as well as its proximity to different neighbourhoods in northwest Calgary as well as the busy Winsport complex across the highway.
Also, work continues on extending Stoney Trail from the south part of Calgary, which would make the area even more accessible in the future to people along the western and southern edges of the city.
Melcor has developed and managed mixed-use residential communities, business and industrial parks, office buildings and retail centres.
Melcor, which has been a public company since 1968, owns a diversified portfolio of assets in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Arizona and Colorado with over 140 communities built, and is managing 4.78 million square feet in commercial projects across Western Canada.