Mountain magic part of backyard
Windows have 120-degree views of Rocky Mountains in Cochrane
From Sherwood Park in the Edmonton area to Airdrie isn’t a quick scoot.
It’s about a three-hour trip one way. That’s not a convenient distance for frequent visits from grandparents Gary and Elaine Buss.
So when the retired couple was ready to downsize, they looked for something closer to their then-lone grandchild.
It started with Airdrie, followed by a look around Calgary, finally ending west of the city in Cochrane. “It’s nice to look out the window and all you see is 120 degrees of Rocky Mountains on a clear day,” says Gary from the great room of the couple’s condo apartment.
He is a former member of the RCMP and Elaine is an ex-nurse. They’re now spending their retirement years facing the natural beauty of the nearby mountainscape in a complex called The Village.
Created by Calbridge Homes, it’s in a community called Sunset Ridge.
Visits to the grandkids now only take an hour for a round trip and the couple is there every Tuesday.
“It’s handy,” says Gary of Cochrane’s convenient location, which includes a 15-minute drive to Calgary. But Elaine says Cochrane itself offers plenty for buyers.
“It’s not a small town anymore,” she says. “Look at all the growth around here. It’s crazy.”
Elaine enjoys making good use of the town’s shops and services, which are amenities she didn’t realize Cochrane had until the couple considered it as a place to live.
“We never stopped downtown,” says Elaine. “We always just went through on our way to the mountains. But we never discovered downtown and now we both just love it.”
When Gary and Elaine found out about The Village, Calbridge Homes was promoting its upcoming project out of a small information centre, but the company wasn’t in sell mode.
Three months later on the opening day of sales, the couple was ready.
“We were the first ones in the door, so I think we were the first ones to buy in this whole complex,” says Gary.
A top floor corner unit with two underground parking stalls, along with the square footage they were looking for, was too good to ignore.
Elaine admits that when she pictured her retirement years, she thought the couple would be set up in a villa or duplex. She didn’t expect an apartment.
“(Gary) promised me that we would be out of here in a year if I didn’t like it,” says Elaine with a smile. “That’s not happening.”
On March 15, the couple hit the three-year mark in the condo.
“We absolutely love it,” says Gary. “We wouldn’t go anywhere else. Even though we’ve always lived in single-family homes, this just felt like home when we moved in here.”
Buying in the preconstruction phase also allowed the couple to prepare for their transition.
“We had to downsize our furniture,” says Elaine. “We did a fair amount of planning and had help from our daughter in-law, who is an interior designer. She was very helpful with what size to buy.”
Once complete, The Village will include 129 condo apartments spread across three four-storey buildings. The first building is sold out and the project is on its second phase of development.
The buildings are decked out in vibrant colours, including stone and column details, along with spacious balconies and oversized windows.
The windows make good use of the surrounding views, says area manager Gwenn Utigard. As with the Buss
Gary and Elaine Buss BACKGROUND: The retired couple from Sherwood Park looked to the Calgary area after both their son and Gary’s father moved to Airdrie. Gary is a former member of the RCMP and Elaine was a nurse. They were swept away by the views of Cochrane, especially the towering Rocky Mountains. Their new apartment at Calbridge Homes’ The Village has oversized windows giving a great look at the Rockies. Gary and Elaine were among the first purchasers at The Village, a fourbuilding project with spacious one and two-bedroom apartments. family, that’s a big attraction for a number of buyers at the development, she says.
“Basically, there are panoramic mountain views,” says Utigard. “Every day they’re different, so it’s like having a picture hanging on your wall and it changes every day for you.”
There are currently nine floor plans available, eight of which have two-bedroom configurations. The one bedroom, one bathroom model is 893 square feet.
The largest two-bedroom plan is 1,407 square feet, while the smallest two-bedroom layout is 1,071 square feet, so they’re spacious and feel even bigger than they actually are, says Utigard.
“When most people walk in, they ask: ‘And how big is this?’” she says.
“They can’t believe it. They say it’s laid out so well that it just feels so much bigger than what they imagined.”
The apartments include nine-foot knock-down ceilings. The kitchens have a stainless-steel appliance package and raised granite eating bars.
Condo apartments have spacious decks looking out at the mountains as one of the amenities of The Village complex by Calbridge Homes in Cochrane.
The kitchen in a model by at the Village by Calbridge Homes in Cochrane.
Cochrane residents get to enjoy natural amenities such as the nearby Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.
Horses at the park are a reminder of Cochrane’s history as an important centre for ranching.
Elaine and Gary Buss in the great room of their condo apartment in The Village by Calbridge Homes in Cochrane. They downsized from a home near Edmonton.
The bathroom includes this large vanity. Elaine and Gary Buss enjoy the kitchen in their new condo apartment.
The great room in a model in The Village in Cochrane. There are currently nine floor plans available in the project.
The master bedroom in one of the show suites within the development.