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Ocgrow plans retail, commercial at Cochrane's Greystone dev.

The development in the community of Greystone also includes a residential aspect

A rendering of Greystone's retail shopping development. (Courtesy Ocgrow Group of Companies)

Calgary-based Ocgrow Group of Companies is planning a 300,000-square-foot commercial development at the site of the largest master-planned community under construction in the Town of Cochrane, just west of Calgary.

The development in the community of Greystone also includes plans for residential real estate.

Harish Consul, president & CEO of the Ocgrow Group of Companies, told RENX the commercial development will include a man-made lake and a central, publicly accessible plaza.

Construction of the commercial and retail development will begin next year, with completion slated for the spring or summer of 2025.

“We’ve spent over five years on this. Currently land use is in place. We’re in construction. There’s multiple sites," Consul said.

"Ocgrow is the largest developer of Greystone. It’s basically an amazing community on the Bow River waterfront - 150 acres.

“It’s a huge project. Greystone right now is the largest development in the area.”

What's expected in the community

The overall community includes a Calgary Co-op as an anchor grocery store. A new hotel is coming as well as a large residential component, which will be constructed and delivered by other developers. 

“Cochrane is the No. 1 fastest-growing region in Western Canada right now. It’s just exploding. We’ve got a lot of exciting retailers reaching out to us. Lot of plans to announce,” Consul said.

Consul added the company is looking for a variety of retailers for the commercial development – from quick-service restaurants to big-box to local retailers as well as professional services such as medical and dental. 

“We have a wide range. It’s pretty open,” Consul said, adding the commercial development will include 40 to 50 tenants. “We’ve got a lot of deals in various stages of negotiation. We’re also selling and leasing.

"Most tenants want to lease but there are some that want to buy their own space, especially professional medical. They like to buy their own unit.”

Residential plans for Greystone

A rendering of the Vertos residential project. (Courtesy Ocgrow Group of Companies)

The west side of the Greystone community includes a number of homebuilders constructing single-family homes.

Ocgrow is also building a residential project called Vertos, near the commercial development, which will include 150 luxury townhomes and garden-level condos that is under construction. It will be completed in late 2024 or early 2025.

It also plans to build another luxury residential rental project called Terez, which will include about 130 units. It will be completed in 2025.

“There’s a huge, huge need for housing in Cochrane. We’re almost at zero vacancy rate with all the influx. So we’re doing both multifamily and retail commercial,” Consul said.

“A huge chunk of this will be completed in spring/summer 2025 including the retail commercial.”

The Greystone Area Structure Plan said the community “will intensify, add vibrancy and create a strong sense of place to a uniquely situated site adjacent to downtown Cochrane and the Bow River.”

The site is being transformed from a mainly industrial landscape to a mixed-use, complete community with a variety of housing forms.

Amenities surrounding the community

Existing surrounding amenities include the Bow River, the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre and the downtown.

Previously, these amenities were separated by large blocks of industrial land.

Greystone is establishing a new land-use pattern with road and pedestrian networks, and possibly future transit, which weaves these amenities together.

“Cochrane is ideally positioned west of Calgary. People love having that outdoor, mountain lifestyle. You know, you’re 45 minutes from Banff. You’re literally 30 minutes from the airport,” Consul said. 

“People want to be west of the city, especially that younger population. They love that lifestyle.

"Garmin, with their head office in Cochrane, has expanded significantly. There’s a huge number of tech companies moving into Cochrane. 

“It’s super exciting, the growth. Being so close to Calgary and just west of it, closer to the mountains, that’s why it’s appealing. That’s why it’s been growing so fast . . .

"There’s a real shortage of retail, there’s a shortage of housing, there’s a shortage of commercial in Cochrane.”

According to the Alberta government, Cochrane had a population of 34,724 in 2022, an increase of 4.04 per cent from the previous year. Its population has grown 22.7 per cent over the past five years.

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