Piece of Three Sisters Mountain Village in Canmore receives approval for construction

The approval paves the way for a handful of mixed-used developments, with retail and employee housing at the forefront

Article content

A more than six-acre development, which will be part of the controversial Three Sisters Mountain Village in Canmore, has been approved by the mountain community’s town administration.

The approval paves the way for a handful of mixed-used developments, with retail and employee housing at the forefront. It will be located on 6.6 acres about five kilometres southeast of downtown Canmore, at the base of Three Sisters mountain.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Article content

Only a few years ago, the developers in charge of the sprawling project determined Canmore had reached the population needed to support a development of this kind, said Chris Ollenberger, director of strategy for Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV).

“I think it’ll bring some good, local, needed services, some diversity of retail to Canmore … it’s a nice milestone to finally hit,” Ollenberger said.

The project approved this week is the first of three development phases planned for The Gateway. Construction is scheduled to being in early April.

This first phase will see a three-storey building go up, with the main floor intended for retail and the top floors used as office space and employee accommodation. The second phase, which still requires approval, is scheduled to start pouring concrete next spring, said Sam Sidhu, development manager for The Gateway.

“I would that (The Gateway’s) primary focus is retail for sure, but it is really a mixed-use project,” Ollenberger said.

‘Leasing interest is fairly strong’

TSMV is currently offering leases for spaces throughout The Gateway. Sidhu said TSMV is currently in talks with a grocer and is “fairly close” to a deal, but details around the potential lease are confidential.

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

“As it goes right now, leasing interest is fairly strong,” Sidhu said.

A nearby land parcel is also slated for residential construction that will be built in the coming years, Ollenberger said. That development is separate from TSMV and is owned by Logel Homes, a Calgary-based developer.

Should approvals go according to plan, The Gateway should be fully complete by 2027 or 2028, Sidhu said.

As the new development continues construction, Ollenberger expects the long-planned Three Sisters Village, slightly north of The Gateway, will concurrently be under construction.

“It’s a logical progression. As a master developer, we spend a lot of time picking which pieces of the puzzle will come on stream next,” Ollenberger said.

“One of the last things you want to see is, ‘Let’s build commercial construction for the sake of building commercial developments.’ We’ll say we did it, but then you have a whole bunch of empty buildings with for-lease signs in them forever.”

Development has faced controversy

The Three Sisters development, covering about 154 hectares of undeveloped land that would eventually double Canmore’s population and geographic footprint, has faced scrutiny since it was first proposed more than 30 years ago.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Legal battles over its future came to a head in October 2023 when the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled the development must go ahead. It found the projects were in line with the Natural Resources Conservation Board’s 1992 review of the Three Sisters area, meaning that under the Municipal Government Act, council was required to approve the developments.

The town and councillors would have faced legal consequences had they voted against the developments.

Recommended from Editorial

[email protected]
X: @mattscace67

Article content