March 05, 2021 | Andrea Cox
Ahead of the curve: Cooper's Crossing provides walkability, amenities and classic architecture in AirdrieOn 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.
When it came to drafting the master plan, attention was paid to every detail, including the overall aesthetic, the sense of connectivity through pathways, the street layout, and the proximity to shopping, schools and business centres.
"Today, we see how dramatically these elements contribute to quality of life," said Gerla. "It isn't a promise of what a neighbourhood could be like in the future, it exists now."
WestMark Holdings Ltd thought outside the box, pursuing innovative community concepts and housing ideas. "We build neighbourhoods that we would like to live in ourselves, which in fact we do," said Gerla. "The fact that we live here influences every decision that we make, and all of our neighbours benefit along with us."
"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." - Paul Gerla, WestMark Holdings Ltd owner and manager
The community offers the entire package, with a list of amenities you would expect to find only in older, established communities. An elementary school for students from kindergarten to Grade 4 opened in fall 2016, while the Cooper's Town Promenade retail development is home to several businesses, including Save-On Foods and Shopper's Drug Mart. This 126,000-square-foot hub is in the heart of the community, and connects directly to the pathway system and a series of adjacent public gathering spaces, including a plaza and outdoor stage. Residents can walk over for groceries, a bottle of wine or a fun evening with neighbours at the local pub.
The sense of connectedness, amenity selection and aesthetics were some of the factors that attracted the McGonigal family to the neighbourhood. "I've lived in seven communities in Airdrie," said Kipp McGonigal, who was born and raised there. "But Cooper's Crossing is without question my favourite neighbourhood. There are so many green spaces, a real sense of community and pride of ownership. Neighbours actually get to know each other here."
He was also wowed by the architectural details. "The overall integrity from a development standpoint is top notch," he said.
Home designs in Cooper's Crossing are influenced by classic architecture and design. "Think of places like Calgary's Elbow Park or parts of Mount Royal," said Gerla.
A new show-home parade, unveiled in September, showcases some beautiful designs by Harder Homes, McKee Homes and NuVista Homes. Located on Cooper's Drive, the show homes feature front-drive, single-family designs.
McKee Homes' show home is the Strangford Lough IV, a two-storey, four-bedroom plan with almost 2,600 square feet of living space. The Bentley II by NuVista Homes offers 2,512 square feet of living space with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Completing the parade is the Hadley, Harder Homes' three-bedroom, 2,484-square-foot show home.
Adjacent to the single-family parade, Emerald New Homes showcases large front-drive townhomes with double garages.
Cooper's Crossing is now home to 1,100 households and is just over 80 per cent completed. At final build out, estimated in 2022, the community will have added another 800 homes.
Tagged: Airdrie | Calgary Community | City of Airdrie | Cooper's Crossing | Cooper's Town Promenade | Discovery Park | Emerald New Homes | Harder Homes | Kipp McGonigal | McKee Homes | NuVista Homes | Paul Gerla | Save-On Foods | Shopper's Drug Mart | Surrounding Areas | Westmark Holdings