The transformation of the former Cobb’s AG Foods building is in its final stages, with the first tenants customizing their premises.
The decades-old structure at 5015 50th St. was gutted and redesigned following the closure of Cobb’s AG Foods two years ago. Ken Wessel, whose company River City Developments Ltd. bought and renovated the property, estimates the value of the project at between $4 million and $5 million.
Renamed Cobb’s Block Central, the enclosed shopping mall boasts some 26,000 square feet of space over two levels.
One of the larger tenants, Cobb’s Clothing, occupied the building before Cobb’s AG Foods and has retained its 3,630-square-foot bay.
It’s now been joined by Guy’s & Doll’s hair salon and Bayview Café and Bakery, both of which were existing businesses in Sylvan Lake.
“That will be our restaurant component,” said Wessel of Bayview. “We’re not going after any other restaurants in the building now.”
Bayview owner Sheree Davies is pleased with her new premises, which at 2,555 square feet are about 50 per cent larger than her old space in Chateau Suites at Sylvan Bay.
That’s allowed her to consolidate her restaurant, kitchen and bakery together.
“There are opportunities for evening functions and live music and meetings, because it’s in one large room now,” she said.
Modifications continue, added Davies, who plans to introduce new items and services at Bayview. Currently, its menu is similar to before, with breakfast and lunch items prepared on-site — including baked goods. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Wessel said three other prospective tenants are negotiating leases, and another party is looking at purchasing a bay. Since the building has been condominiumized, ownership and rental are both possible.
“We’re getting good action on it,” said Wessel, noting that interest increased following the Christmas season.
“Now people are starting to take notice before summer.”
Although the renovations took longer than he initially anticipated, Wessel is pleased with the results.
“Everyone who sees it loves it. It’s pretty unique.”
The Town of Sylvan Lake even nominated River City Developments for a Central Alberta Economic Partnership Achievement Award in the Innovative Business category. Municipal officials have praised the project for its positive impact on the downtown.