March 22, 2024 / Milestones

The construction of The Shops at Buffalo Run has been successfully completed after two and a half years of dedicated collaboration between Taza, Elan Construction Limited and Systemic Architecture, collectively bringing a vision to life. This new retail district, spanning 278,000 square feet, is now a bustling centre for shopping, casual dining and services. The anchor tenant, Costco opened its doors in 2020, marking a significant milestone as Canada’s only Costco built on First Nation land. With over 30 retailers operating, only 10 percent of leasing space is still available.

Time lapse video of construction on The Shops at Buffalo Run.

A Ceremony of Celebration

Before construction started at The Shops at Buffalo Run, members of the Elan construction team participated in an opening ceremony led by Tsuut’ina Elders to bless the land with prayer and song. Nearly three years later, in February 2024, Tsuut’ina Elders reconvened with the Elan team to conduct a closing ceremony, symbolically completing the circle. Elders Charlie Crowchild and David Meguinis joined team members from Elan, Systemic Architecture and Taza at the newly completed shops to hold a smudging ceremony and share their prayers. They sang a traditional song to express gratitude for the land and its occupants, extending blessings for the present day and the future.

The team at Elan shared, “This extraordinary project, which honours the deep connection to the land, sky, and all living things, is transforming into a vibrant economic hub for fashion, entertainment, quick-service restaurants, medical services, banks, and much more. Serving as a significant component of the groundbreaking Taza Development, it stands as one of the largest First Nations projects in North America.”

Closing ceremony attendees included Tsuut’ina Elders Charlie Crowchild and David Meguinis, and team members from Elan, Systemic Architecture, and Taza Development Corp.

Collaborative Excellence with Elan

We connected with Todd Poulsen, President of Elan Construction Ltd to gain his perspective on the significance of this construction project, and what it means for the community.

What inspired you to work with Taza on the construction of The Shops at Buffalo Run?

“This project distinguishes itself through its remarkable size, duration, and overall significance, marking it as a pivotal moment for Elan. The prospect of contributing to one of the inaugural projects within this groundbreaking development filled us with excitement, fueled by the belief that our extensive experience as both General Contractors and Construction Managers in prominent retail developments across Southern Alberta would bring substantial value to the Taza team.”

Why do you think this retail hub is an important addition to Tsuut'ina Nation and surrounding Calgary communities?

“Situated near the communities of Cedarbrae and Woodbine, The Shops at Buffalo Run not only offers retail space, but also weaves in the rich history, culture, and storytelling of the Tsuut’ina Nation. The commitment to preserving and showcasing Tsuut’ina history and culture sets this project apart. It goes beyond being merely a commercial space; it's an immersive experience that allows visitors to delve into the local vibrant culture.”

What is the significance of the closing ceremony that was held to mark the completion of construction on The Shops at Buffalo Run?

“Prior to starting the construction on The Shops of Buffalo Run project in August of 2021, Elan had the privilege of hosting a Land Acknowledgment Ceremony with an Elder from the Tsuut’ina Nation. During this ceremony, The Shops of Buffalo Run site was blessed, prayers were offered for the safety of the workers and for the long-term success of the project. 

Upon completion of the project, the team felt it was essential to honor the Elder's guidance and bring closure to the journey. Therefore, Elan held a closing ceremony to signify the project's successful conclusion and to express gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon us. We believe that respecting and adhering to these cultural practices played a significant role in the project's success, underscoring the importance of acknowledging and embracing indigenous traditions.”

The Shops at Buffalo Run, home to more than 30 retail and office tenants.

What you can find at The Shops at Buffalo Run

A recent feature on The Shops at Buffalo Run by Retail Insider highlighted the significant growth of Taza, and the future plans for the sprawling development.

"At The Shops at Buffalo Run, we are dedicated to providing a meticulously curated range of services designed to cater to your every need. Whether you're in need of childcare, dental care, physiotherapy, or medical services, we have you covered.  Our recent additions include Petfinity, an upscale pet facility featuring a luxurious pet hotel, daycare, grooming services, and an expansive 15,000 square foot indoor dog park. Additionally, Petzoic, a cutting-edge veterinarian clinic equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment technologies, has recently opened its doors in early March," shared James Robertson, President of Taza Development Corp. "Our ultimate goal has always been to provide our guests unparalleled convenience and a diverse array of choices, all conveniently situated within our retail hub at Buffalo Run."

One of the new indoor dog play areas at Petfinity.

Recently opened establishments Who’s Kitchen, Fit Foundation, and Nabi Flowers are now open and ready to welcome both locals and visitors alike. On March 16, Petzoic Vet Hospital and Petfinity held a joint grand opening event with Tsuut’ina Nation Elder Audrey Pipesteam, who bestowed blessings upon both facilities through song and prayer. These esteemed pet-focused businesses have been eagerly awaited by the community, providing easy access to pet health and wellness services for the residents of Tsuut’ina Nation and Southwest Calgary.

Discover the tenants at The Shops at Buffalo Run here.

Follow Taza on social media for announcements on new tenant openings and leasing opportunities. Join Taza’s online community for more stories, living opportunities and community experiences coming soon.

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