Former Cobb’s building changing

Nine months after the last bag of groceries when out the door at Sylvan Lake’s Cobb’s AG Foods, the store’s landmark building appears to have a new lease on life. River City Developments Ltd. wants to convert the 5015 50th St. building into a shopping centre, with its dozen units to include a restaurant with a patio.

Nine months after the last bag of groceries when out the door at Sylvan Lake’s Cobb’s AG Foods, the store’s landmark building appears to have a new lease on life.

River City Developments Ltd. wants to convert the 5015 50th St. building into a shopping centre, with its dozen units to include a restaurant with a patio.

Ken Wessel, a partner in the Red Deer company, said the plan is to transform the existing structure into an attractive, two-storey site called Cobb’s Block Central.

“We’ve gutted it basically, and made it so it’s going to be brand new all the way through.”

Wessel listed hardwood flooring, LED lighting, a high-efficiency heating system and upgraded insulation as among the additions.

The main floor would boast a large foyer with access to the second storey via a curved stairway and an elevator, and the exterior would be upgraded.

“It is a very well-built structure,” said Wessel of the building, which is about 23 years old.

A grocery store operated at the site for many years, with A.F. Cobb purchasing a Co-op grocery and dry goods business in 1928.

Don and Rita Gummo, who operated Cobb’s AG Foods from 1999, decided to close the business in the face of an increasingly competitive retail food market.

Sylvan Lake’s municipal planning commission voted on Monday to recommend River City’s proposal to town council, which must approve developments in the lakefront area. Mayor Susan Samson said the matter could be dealt with by council as early as next Monday.

She described plans for Cobb’s Block Central as “very aesthetically pleasing,” and said the project would provide a boost to the downtown.

“We think that what they’re proposing here is going to increase the intensity and the density in the downtown,” said Samson. “And for us, that means more people working in the area, and attracting more people into that area to shop.”

If council approval is received, Wessel estimated that it will take four to six months to complete the renovations. Occupants could choose between ownership and tenancy.

“We’re open to selling or leasing, but our intent is to sell as much as possible,” he said.

Wessel said he’s received a number of inquiries about units in the building, of which seven would be on the main floor and five on the second level. Retail and professional uses have been proposed, he said.

“A lot of the people who are calling us are existing businesses that are leasing in other buildings.”

The building’s total usable space would be approximately 25,500 square feet, with nearly 2,400 square feet of this earmarked for the restaurant. In addition to the restaurant, Cobb’s Clothing would operate on the ground floor in its existing location.

Wessel said the building is appealing because of its heritage ties, its ample parking and its location in downtown Sylvan Lake.

“Downtown Sylvan doesn’t really have this concept.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Most Read