A new transit hub and innovation centre will offer a centrally located transit facility, satellite Town offices and office space dedicated to the incubation of innovative technologies and businesses.
Council directed Administration to proceed with a business plan, design and costing on this project to be located at the former Esso Bulk Station site, which is the first project identified in Cochrane’s tri-site plan.
The tri-site project includes three parcels of land in the downtown core:
1. Former Esso Bulk Station site (located across from the Cochrane Public Library)
2. 1-acre site east of the library
3. Fifth Avenue site (former location of the Big Hill Leisure Pool, including the Lions Rodeo Park)
“We have $4.5 million through approved [provincial] GreenTrip funding to build the transit hub,” said Mayor Jeff Genung. “We are looking to leverage these funds and build a multi-functional facility, and we continue to focus on becoming a hub for new and emerging technologies.”
Development of the former Esso land was intended to include transit and satellite Town services because of the proximity to both Historic Downtown and other central business areas.
The project is scheduled to start this year and take approximately two years to complete. Total project costs are estimated at $7 million, with $2.5 million in borrowed funds to be recovered through tenant lease payments. Offsite improvements will include a bus lay-by, improved pedestrian connections and utility improvements.
When fully complete, the innovation campus project (Site 1 and 2 above) could also include commercial office space, an expanded library, performing arts center and maker space.
The tri-site implementation plan also identifies the Fifth Avenue site as a Central Park, with a variety of uses in addition to outdoor community spaces and plazas.
Improvements to the existing rodeo grounds and open space include a playground and spray park, multi-purpose sports court and equipment, gathering space and resurfaced rodeo ground and equipment. The bench area includes a youth, seniors and events centre and a mixed housing project.
Redevelopment on the Fifth Avenue site will be phased in. The existing ball diamonds will need to be relocated to the Horse Creek Sports Park (concept plan also approved tonight) prior to any redevelopment occurring on the lower section of site.
The Town is also in discussions with the Rocky View Foundation to pursue the development of a four-story, 80,000 square foot facility seniors housing facility to be located on the north end of the lower bench on Fifth Avenue.