Courtesy Canderel MDC Development Management Inc.

The Tsuut’ina Nation is developing Calgary’s latest power retail centre with the Shops at Buffalo Run, which will feature the region’s newest Costco store – the first ever location for the retail giant on First Nation land in Canada.

The 150,000-square-foot Costco store, which is under construction and scheduled to open this summer, will be located at the corner of the new Southwest Calgary Ring Road and 130th Avenue S.W.

While the Costco store alone is a large development, it is only one small piece of the huge Taza mixed-use project that spans three distinct areas of development – Taza Park, Taza Crossing and Taza Exchange.

The Shops at Buffalo Run, which is part of Taza Exchange, will also include another 250,000 square feet of development adjacent to the new Costco, with construction continuing into next year and tenant openings beginning in the summer of 2021.

There will be 30 to 35 tenants on the site, with announcements of specific tenants coming soon.

“This is one of the largest commercial mixed-use projects currently underway in Canada and the phased commercial development can be a showpiece of First Nations commercial development.” – Michael Kehoe, Fairfield Commercial Real Estate

Michael Kehoe, an Alberta retail real estate specialist with Fairfield Commercial Real Estate, said Taza will be a critical piece of commercial real estate infrastructure in the greater Calgary region.

“Expectations are high on many levels beyond the mere delivery of goods and services to consumers in an underserved part of the city. The recent announcement of Costco Wholesale is a game-changer for this project and lends additional credibility, with Costco’s powerful regional drawing power as one of North America’s most dominant retailers,” said Kehoe.

“Retail and food service tenants have been anticipating the leasing opportunities the development is now providing, and residents of southwest Calgary will enjoy the amenity and other retail and service offerings that are sure to be provided. From a retail standpoint, this project has a high probability of success . . . This is one of the largest commercial mixed-use projects currently underway in Canada and the phased commercial development can be a showpiece of First Nations commercial development, incorporating environmental and social components along with the traditional science of the lands and waters that the Tsuut’ina are noted for.”

The Tsuut’ina Nation has been working with Canderel MDC Development Management Inc. on the development of Taza.

Taza Park will have 2.5 million square feet of commercial and 2.3 million square feet of retail, plus more than 4,000 multi-family units. Taza Crossing will have two million square feet of commercial and 750,000 square feet of retail, plus another 2,500 multi-family units. Taza Exchange will include 1.5 million square feet of commercial and 1.2 million square feet of retail.

William Briscoe, CEO of Canderel MDC Development Management Inc., said the entire Taza project will create a unique sense of place, drawing on the history, culture and stories of the Tsuut’ina Nation.

He said the three development areas total about 1,200 acres and development will span the next 30 years.