August 15th, 2018

Co-op’s south-end build begins

By Collin Gallant on June 13, 2018.

Officials with South Country Co-op ceremoniously turn the soil Tuesday at the site of a new gas bar, car wash and liquor store complex that will be built on Strachan Road in Medicine Hat. Pictured are (right to left) gas division manager Brad Klassen, operations manager Paul Haynes, general manager Mike Clement, board president Richard Potter, vice-president Rodger Vizbar and liqour manager Monica Miller.--NEWS PHOTO COLLIN GALLANT

Medicine Hat News

Shovels go in the ground this week on a new gas, car wash and liquor store complex in the south end of Medicine Hat.

South County board president Richard Potter was on hand for the sod-turning on Tuesday morning at the site at 2501 Strachan Rd.

The co-operative retailer has since 2014 explored adding locations in the growing south end, said Potter. Partnering with Canalta Hotels, which bought the bare parcel in 2017 at the site then sold a portion on to Co-op, will mean a new move southward.

“It will be our flagship liquor store and a nice new gas bar and car wash. It will give the southside of the city great access to South Country Co-op,” said Potter.

“It’s definitely expanding south of the highway and it’s such a great opportunity.”

The project should be underway on Thursday.

The work will be done by local firm Contempora Construction. An unofficial completion date is considered to be this fall.

Initial plans included a retail strip with bays for lease, though Co-op has since cut that out of the project and sold back a portion of the land to Canalta.

A more-focused project will see one of the largest liquor outlets in Medicine Hat at 8,000 square-feet, while a number of special features are being developed, said officials.

“The biggest thing is that the selection will be unbelievable,” said Co-op Liqour division chief Monica Miller.

“It will have one of the biggest walk-in coolers in the city, a great floor plan easy for people to get around, get in, park, and the selection will be there, definitely.”

There are no plans to change operations at the 13th Avenue food, gas or liquor locations at the Co-op mall. The entity recently engaged national real estate firm Avison Young to lease out the former administration offices in the shopping complex, most likely for professional offices.

Two restaurants — a Boston Pizza and A&W — are already operating at the site.

Land sales

Canalta Hotels has exercised its option and bought the entire site of a proposed hotel development on Strachan Road, the city’s land department has confirmed.

In late 2016, council was advised of a conditional sale for the 17-acre parcel, located at 2501 Strachan Rd, had been reached. It would however, go ahead in two parts as the Drumheller-based hotel chain would use half for a second hotel in the city and evaluate interest in subdividing the property.

The first eight acres were closed in Aug. 2017 for a total of $2.9 million, and now land office manager Grant MacKay says the remaining nine acres are in Canalta hands.

From the original information, that second deal could be worth $3.28 million. The transactions are recorded in separate years.

At the same time, MacKay told a city committee last week that conditional offers for two other commercial plots in the city inventory have expired without a sale finalized.

Calgary Developer Genco had advertised plans to build professional offices and a strip mall in Ranchlands, and was actively seeking out tenants.

Another proposal to buy land adjacent to the Moose ball diamonds off Gehring road also went past deadlines without the proponent advancing work.

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