February 18th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 7
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Crowsnest Opportunity Development Cooperative looking for new venture
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Stock photo
Main street Blairmore
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
The Crowsnest Opportunity Development Cooperative (CODC) is looking to invest in a new project and might be challenging local entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas Dragons’ Den style.
“We’ve talked about doing an investment forum for the next co-op venture,” said CODC chairperson Jay Yanota at a Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Feb. 11. “We’ll invite people to come and present, evaluate them and take the top two or three to our annual general meeting. Then we’ll select one from that.”
Yanota said the investment forum could be held this summer. The CODC would consider partnering with successful applicants and that the organization is already considering backing green energy projects, seniors’ residences, a chairlift for Pass Powder Keg and even a brewery.
A group of local businesspersons and members of Community Futures Crowsnest Pass formed the CODC in 2013 as a vehicle to raise capital and deploy it to local projects.
The CODC is as an initiative of the Rural Alberta Development Fund and coordinated by the Alberta Community and Cooperative Association and was launched at a time when the Pass was in danger of losing a lot of its historic buildings and businesses, said Yanota.
Its first venture was the revitalization of the former Work and Play building otherwise known as the Peuchen Block building on 20th Ave. in Blairmore.
continued below...


Renovations included an exterior facelift with refurbished retail spaces on the main floor and four residential suites on the upper level.
Today the building is home to Ryp Athletics and the Crowsnest Vein and Medical Laser Clinic. All four residential spaces have been leased by Riversdale Resources.
“We’ve had 100 per cent occupancy since November of last year. There were some challenges. When you do renovations on a heritage building it’s not going to come in under budget,” said Yanota.
The venture was financed by 37 investor groups at $12,000 per share who receive about 5 per cent per year in returns.
“You’re getting better interest than our friends at the Royal Bank or Servus Credit Union [can give you,” said Yanota.
The Peuchen Block building gained historic status not only through its namesake Arthur Godfrey Peuchen but because it has been a prominent commercial building since it was built in 1911.
According to a report prepared by Ian McKenzie for Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council, the building hosted the Blairmore Trading Company, the Blairmore Hardware Store, Kubik’s Dry Goods a credit union and an RCMP office.
Arthur Peuchen survived both the sinking of the Titanic and World War I before rising to prominence through the local timber trade.
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February 18th ~ Vol. 85 No. 7
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