Burn­swest Prop­er­ties brings ma­jor de­vel­op­ments to Oko­toks, Cochrane

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - DAVID PARKER David Parker ap­pears reg­u­larly in the Her­ald. Read his col­umns on­line at cal­gary­her­ald.com/busi­ness. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at [email protected]­parker.ca.

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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