Calgary Co-op to develop grocery store and residential units in Marda Loop
|calgaryherald.com 14 Feb 2020 at 18:56|
The local grocer is set to purchase a shopping plaza known as Marda Loop Village, at the corner of 33rd Avenue and 20th Street S.W., and plans to develop an urban grocery store, residential, retail and commercial spaces. The lot currently houses an assortment of shops, restaurants and a large gym with plenty of parking, all of which will stay in operation until a development plan is made, according to Calgary Co-op spokesman Damon Tanzola.
“After that, we will be having open and transparent conversations with (the businesses) to see what the future will hold in the redevelopment,” Tanzola said Thursday.
Businesses currently on the 1.77-acre lot include Global Pet Foods, Marda Loop Doggie Daycare & Spa, 8 Cakes, Marda Loop Mercantile, Subway, Nho Saigon and GoPerformance Fitness Lab, which is the largest single building in the space.
The grocery store itself will be unlike any of Calgary Co-op’s traditional stores, with a selection of fresh produce, ready-to-eat meals and a seating area in a more compact shop.
“It’s a smaller formatted store than our traditional grocery stores. If you’ve been into any of our existing locations you can see that they’re upwards of 37,000 and 52,000 square feet, which is your typical grocery experience. As we move into more of an urban footprint, it’s a smaller-format store that still integrates all the same services and commodities but in a more condensed version,” said Tanzola.
When it comes to the proposed residential building, Calgary Co-op is seeking a collaborative partner to develop and manage it, and will work with the City of Calgary and community association to determine what would be best suited to the space.
“We’re still in the very preliminary stages of what that will look like, whether it’s rental or condominium units to be purchased or some other type of housing that would accommodate that community,” said Tanzola.
He added that services and experiences must be relevant to members’ lifestyles, which is how Calgary Co-op’s food business can survive and thrive in the long term.
“When you look at the potential of this site, we see the opportunity to provide the community with a fresh take on grocery shopping and enhance community amenities, making this a strategic investment on behalf of our members,” said Tanzola.
The purchase of Marda Loop Village is set to close at the end of the month. This will be the third major acquisition for Calgary Co-op in the past two years, following the company’s purchase of Chinook Park Plaza in 2018 and Community Natural Foods in 2019.
When it acquired Community Natural Foods in November, Calgary Co-op’s chief executive, Ken Keelor, said the deal was needed to help the retailer’s food business survive by offering more unique products and strengthening its financial performance.