Retail Leasing Reaches Milestone at Massive Taza Mixed-Use Development Near Calgary

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The retail component of the massive Taza mixed-use development is beginning to take shape on the Tsuut’ina Nation, just outside of the Calgary city limits.

One of the centrepieces of the development is the unique The Shops at Buffalo Run in the Taza Exchange section of the overall project.

Recently, officials announced the first round of businesses that will make up the unique tenant mix at The Shops at Buffalo Run with the following tenants confirmed:

  • Tim Hortons
  • BMO
  • Dollarama
  • Lavish Nails
  • Buffalo Run Dental
  • Complete Health Chiropractic & Massage
  • TiNi Vietnamese
  • BarBurrito
Bryce Starlight

Bryce Starlight, the VP of Development for Taza, said the retail development is currently in for development permit approval with the intention of construction starting in June of this year.

“We’re expecting openings in 2022. Most likely in Q3-Q4,” he said.

Total square footage for The Shops will be just under 260,000 square feet and there will eventually be between 35 to 40 individual tenants “including the potential for a 20,000-square-foot professional office, and that would be in addition to (The Shops)”.

The Shops will be located near the Costco store which opened in August 2020. Starlight said Costco has been “phenomenal”. It was the first Costco on a First Nation in North America.

“From a business standpoint, just from my conversations with Costco, it’s been very well received and at the end of the day even from an overall relationship standpoint it’s been phenomenal. Just a great working relationship with the community, with the Nation. They’ve been amazing tenants even above and beyond the fact that they’re just a phenomenal retailer,” said Starlight.

“The Shops will be a mix between high-visibility retail, mid-box retailers, and out parcels with your standard smaller retailers. It will be a mix of everything from QSR to sit down restaurants. Your 1,200-to-1,500-square-foot retailers, professional office uses, as well as aesthetic uses like nails, hair, personal care.”

Starlight said the Nation is confident about the retail success of the project, partly because of the under-serviced nature of southwest Calgary.

Also The Shops will be easily accessible through main roadways such as the Ring Road.

“Secondly, the approval process that’s been implemented by the Nation is very business friendly. So it allows for a quick speed to business. It ensures that the rules of how people are applying are very consistent and very transparent. We have a lot of quicker approval processes. Similar to what you would see in other municipal districts like Rocky View and Foothills County where it’s a 90 or 120 day turnaround time,” he said.

“And really we use common sense as it relates to the variances and just understanding what the overall goal is for the Nation, for the development, and making sure that the uses fit within that use.”

Starlight said the Nation also has a very competitive tax rate which is attractive for businesses.

The overall Taza development is located on about 1,200 acres of Tsuut’ina land. It consists of three unique, but related development Villages — Taza Park, Taza Crossing, and Taza Exchange — that are integrated through a comprehensive framework of Tsuut’ina and City of Calgary infrastructure. The Villages are physically connected via Tsuut’ina Trail, which is part of the Southwest Calgary Ring Road.

“We’ve got another development upcoming at Taza Park. We’re looking to actually make some tenant announcements over the next couple of months here on that site as well,” said Starlight. “That’s going to be more auto oriented. But we’re looking at some additional retail offerings up in that area as well.”

Starlight said the Taza development is looking to draw innovation, technology and health care uses to the site. Also, there is a housing component that could eventually see 8,000 to 9,000 multi-residential units.

The Tsuut’ina Nation was established in 1877 by the signing of Treaty 7, which predates the incorporation of the city of Calgary in 1894 and the establishment of the Province of Alberta in 1905. Tsuut’ina has a fully independent culture and a long history of progression and innovation. Tsuut’ina is governed by a Chief and Council and operates its own Administration, Business, and Service programs, including Tosguna (Police), the Tsuut’ina Fire Department, Public Works, and Civic Services.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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