Council directed Administration to proceed with detailed design and costing for the Cochrane Innovation Centre and Transit Hub after seeing the business plan at the September 23 Council meeting.
The proposed innovation centre is intended to create and foster jobs in the tech and innovation sector, create development interest in the Railway Street West, Grande Avenue and Bow Street corridor, and establish the Town of Cochrane as a leader in the innovation sector.
“The business plan demonstrates that construction and operation of a combined transit hub and innovation centre is feasible,” said CAO Dave Devana. ““Our vision is to build a three-story, 45,000 square foot facility at the old Esso Bulk Station site.”
The first floor will house the transit hub, public space, office space and potentially a coffee shop or co-working space. The second floor will be dedicated to early start-up incubator tenants. And the third floor will be leased to innovation companies at commercial rates. Improvements outside the facility will include a bus lay-by, improved pedestrian connections and utility improvements.
It is proposed that the innovation centre be governed by an advisory board, whose primary focus is to foster expansion of the innovation sector to create high-quality jobs in the Town of Cochrane. An executive director, in collaboration with Town Economic Development staff, will operate the facility and manage day-to-day operations.
“Cochrane continues to see a growing and rapidly evolving tech and innovation sector,” said Mayor Jeff Genung. “Through investment in a tech incubator, we are providing space for the incubation of new businesses, and new jobs in our community.”
With Council’s approval, detailed design work on the transit hub and innovation centre project is anticipated to start in fall 2019 and take approximately 15 months to complete, with a target occupancy of December 2020. Administration will bring the detailed design and costing back to Council on December 9, 2019 for final project approval.
Capital project costs are estimated at $9 million, with $4.6 million coming from GreenTRIP funds allocated to the construction of the transit hub.
Updates available on LetsTalkCochrane.ca/Tri-Site.