Calgary Herald

Burnswest Properties brings major developmen­ts to Okotoks, Cochrane

- DAVID PARKER David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at calgaryher­ He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at info@davidparke­

The Burns family has been involved in building Alberta’s future for more than 100 years, but never with as much creative energy and pace as is being used to forge ahead today.

In 1912, James F. Burns started a concrete and gravel company, hauling sand and gravel by horsedrawn dump-wagons to job sites. His son, James Burns II, took over the company in 1946 as his father decided to move on, when “files no longer fit into the glove compartmen­t of my Studebaker.”

His son, Jim Burns, took over as general manager of the aggregate portion of the business when he was 20 years old, and the growing number of family businesses were merged in 1969 under the umbrella of Burnco Industries, with Jim taking control in 1975.

Burnswest Properties, which manages the assets of Burnswest Corp., is responsibl­e for overseeing the reclamatio­n and redevelopm­ent of its gravel lands.

Rapidly expanding operations meant Jim needed help and, with a desire to continue the family ties, persuaded his son, Jeff to join him in 2001.

At the time it primarily sold reclaimed land to other developers.

Burnswest president Jeff

Burns is a creative person, and he soon toyed with the idea that the company could be the developer of its own lands and transform them for future generation­s to enjoy and appreciate.

Two 140-acre Burnswest developmen­ts are currently underway; one in Okotoks and a second in Cochrane.

Southbank Business District is on land overlookin­g the Sheep River inside Okotoks town limits.

Fully serviced and subdivided light industrial lots ranging from 1.5 to four acres are being sold in Phase 1 through Colliers Internatio­nal. A well-connected location, the well-planned business park will offer tenants proximity to the town’s amenities as well as the 14-kilometre pathway system and amazing views of the river and beyond to the Sheep River Park.

Greystone is situated in the downtown area of Cochrane. Master-planned by B&A Planning Group as a mixed-use developmen­t, 65 per cent will be dedicated to a wide range of single-to multi-family residentia­l properties.

The developmen­t is adjacent to the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre. The 325,000-square-foot sports facility will be a bonus for families living in Greystone as well as employees of the companies who will make the business park area their new home.

Jeff Burns is excited about the new developmen­ts Burnswest is working on, but the company also has many more former quarry lands as far away as Ponoka and Lacombe, and south of the city on the east side of Highway 2A at Aldersyde.

Notes: A 50,000-square-foot building on Grande Boulevard in Cochrane, owned and managed by Grand Central Properties and fully leased to Alberta Health Services, has been awarded Medical Office Building of the Year by BOMA Calgary, BOMA Canada and BOMA Internatio­nal.

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