Cranbrook Business: Embracing new developments and revamping the old

Here’s the latest news on Cranbrook’s top projects and developments

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Outside of Popeye's Chicken franchise in Cranbrook showing drive-thru window and side of building.

The new Popeye's Louisiana Chicken restaurant is one of the newest additions to Cranbrook's business landscape. — Kerry Shellborn photo

In recent years, the City of Cranbrook has seen steady growth and upward trends when it comes to new building projects and developments, especially when it comes to housing.

Broadstreet Developments on Innis Avenue has provided nearly 300 new housing units in the city. In addition, development permits and variances have been issued for two multi-storey apartment buildings that, when built, will supply approximately 146 new units.

Because of continued positive growth in the region, the city has recognized the need for a streamlined digital system for land-based administration and application processes. Developers, builders, businesses, and the public will have the ability to apply for permits and licenses online and complete the entire process digitally. Applicants will be able to view the stages of their permits and be automatically notified throughout the process. This new system will enable the city to support efficient operations and continue to provide a high level of service to the community.

Check out our list of the top developments currently underway in the region, including two new state-of-the-art dealerships and the planned opening of a new craft brewery that scores heavy on the nostalgia factor.

Encore Brewing Company

The website is up and running, brewery assembly has commenced, and an up-and-coming brewmaster (and professed beer nerd) has been hired as Head Brewer. Excitement is on the table as Cranbrook’s newest brewery, The Encore Brewing Company, prepares to officially open its doors later this year. The new brewery and business is located in the former Juniper Lanes Bowling Alley building. 

The team behind this project are the same duo behind the redevelopment of the old fire hall into the popular Fire Hall Kitchen & Tap restaurant. The redesign of the new brewing company features a retro-inspired 1950s feel with nifty and nostalgic branding elements and signage. Recognizing the long-standing part the bowling alley has played in the community, there are also plans to preserve eight of the original 16 bowling lanes.

Interested in playing a part in the creation of this highly-anticipated new hang-out spot? The exclusive Founder’s Club is a one-time only chance to support the business with hefty start-up expenses and get the doors open sooner. In return, your support gets you access to 12 months of backstage members-only perks, including exclusive events, products, merchandise, discounts, and more.

Exterior view of Armond Theatre, showing boarded-up front area.

The highly-anticipated renovation of the old Armond Theatre in downtown Cranbrook is still in the works. — Kerry Shellborn photo

Continuing renovation of Armond Theatre in downtown Cranbrook

Since acquiring the old Armond Theatre in January 2020, the team behind the labour-of-love project—Ferdy Belland, Casey Wright and Spencer Kerr—have overcome some major hurdles in their way. 2021 saw a commercial hazardous materials abatement completed, plus the major accomplishment of “Big Beam Day” when the installation of four 4,700-pound steel beams required to upgrade the roof was successfully undertaken.

Since that time, the team have been working closely with engineers and architects to finalize interior remodeling blueprints and upgrades to the aging electrical, plumbing and HVAC system. As well, a building code review is currently being undertaken with the City of Cranbrook engineering department. Once these frustratingly-lengthy processes are complete, it’s on to what Belland refers to as “the fun stuff”—the installation of a hardwood dance floor and a $250,000-sound system as well as restorations to the mezzanine, bar areas and lobby.

Stay tuned, Cranbrook! According to Belland, it sounds like the bureaucratic wait will soon be over and we’ll hear some exciting updates about this old-but-new multi-purpose arts venue coming to the community.

Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken/commercial retail space

In March 2022, city council approved development permits for two commercial buildings located at 1833 Cranbrook Street North, between Wendy’s restaurant and Tim Horton’s. In late December 2022, the Popeye’s Chicken franchise opened to great fanfare—the business features a 40-seat dining area and drive-thru. The second building will contain four independent retail spaces. As of this writing, the retail stores are yet to be determined.

Runners RV dealership under construction, showing building in background, foreground shows parked RVs and chainlink fence.

At three times the size of the current dealership the new Runners RV building, located beside Home Depot, will have plenty of room for expansion when complete. — Kerry Shellborn photo

New Runners RV dealership

Construction on the new 20,000 sq. ft Runners RV dealership is well underway. The new commercial project is being constructed on McPhee Road beside Home Depot.

At three times the size of the current Runners RV building, the new build will have plenty of space. Once complete, the building will feature a large showroom area, a parts and service room, service area and five bays for RV mechanical services. Administration offices, a boardroom, mezzanine level and staff lunchroom will complete the interior layout. Outside, there will be a large show area complete with canopy, parking lot green space and exterior inventory storage.

Red Deer, Alberta-based Berry Architecture + Associates is working on this exciting new addition to the city’s industrial landscape.

Photo of Toyota dealership under construction.

Construction on the new Toyota dealership is coming along nicely, with the building slated to to be open by mid-summer 2023. — Kerry Shellborn photo

New Alpine Toyota dealership

Construction on the new 25,000 sq. ft Alpine Toyota dealership is coming along nicely, with construction on the new building slated to be finished by July 2023. Located on McPhee Road, across from Home Depot, the building will be a state-of-the-art structure that will replace the current dealership.

Lethbridge-based company Westco Construction is in charge of the project. The company has also been involved with the construction and renovation of a number of other automotive dealerships in the area, including Denham Ford, Cranbrook Kia and Cranbrook Hyundai.

Permit issued for new building on site of former Legion building

In September 2022, Cranbrook city council approved a Development Variance Permit for a new building on the site of the old Legion building which burned down in 2020. Located at 800 Cranbrook Street North, the proposal for the new building includes a main space for retail hot tub sales, along with two attached smaller retail spaces. Building permits and approval for the new structure will have to be completed before construction can officially commence.

Julie Matchett

Julie Matchett is a writer and content coordinator for KPI Media. She ranks as a 7 on the Introversion vs. Extraversion scale out of 100, which might help to explain why she chose a career of quiet contemplation as opposed to public speaking. View all of Julie Matchett’s articles

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