Space to grow

Kipp McGonigal and his family built their forever home at Cooper’s Crossing

With a background in cabinetmaking and a flair for design, it’s no wonder that Kipp McGonigal is passionate about architecture. So, when it came time to build his family’s dream home, he turned to McKee Homes, an Airdrie-based design/build firm he had worked with previously to great success.

With four kids ages eight through 11 and a pet bunny, the McGonigals wanted to create a family-friendly space in a family-friendly neighbourhood. It also needed to be a home that could take McGonigal and his wife through their retirement years. They found the perfect lot, located on a park in the Airdrie community of Cooper’s Crossing, and set their long-awaited plan into motion.

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Airdrie appeal

Affordability, community and amenities have drawn many to Calgary’s northern neighbour

While most people take great care to choose the place they want to call home, one could say Airdrie chose Wendie and John Pilkington. More precisely, their son and his growing family chose Airdrie for them, when he relocated from England to a new job in the city of nearly 65,000.

Since 2014, the elder Pilkingtons have resided in Cooper’s Crossing, which has been voted Airdrie’s best community for five years in a row.

“Airdrie is where the kids are and that’s where we are,” said Wendie Pilkington, admitting that even when they first moved, they weren’t sure they would remain. After nearly 30 years of living in England’s comparatively grey climes, Airdrie’s year-round sunshine was particularly attractive.

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Ahead of the curve

Cooper’s Crossing provides, walkability, amenities and classic architecture in Airdrie

On Airdrie’s southwest side, Cooper’s Crossing stands as an example of what a great master-planned community can look like. It was named after the Cooper family, who farmed the land for more than 100 years. The 320-acre development features 44 acres of parkland, two six-acre ponds and Discovery Park – a multi-generational gathering space with a fire pit, toboggan hill, secret forest, play structures, half-basketball court, gazebo and picnic area.

“Buzzwords like placemaking, walkability or ‘live, work, play’ communities are popular today, but we had a firm grasp on the importance of these concepts 20 years ago when we first started designing Cooper’s Crossing,” said Paul Gerla, owner and manager of WestMark Holdings Ltd, the Airdrie-based developer behind Cooper’s Crossing.

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Open for business

Commercial development in Airdrie steady despite downturn

Paul Gerla has long had a vision to develop a vibrant neighbourhood shopping destination in Airdrie’s flourishing southwest quadrant.

And he wasn’t about to let a downturn in the provincial economy distract him.

“When we evaluate a project like this, we think in terms of decades, not necessarily what’s happening today,” said Gerla, general manager of WestMark Holding Ltd., which is behind a new five-hectare Cooper’s Town Promenade commercial district in the upscale Cooper’s Crossing community.

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