Update 7 pm:
A supporter of a proposed new seniors facility in downtown Vernon says it will be ten years ahead of its time.
Seventy supportive units are planned for a six story building on the former Legion site on 31st Avenue.
Terry Collier, who did some programming for it, told Vernon council, 80 percent of the suites will be two bedroom.
“And that’s because multi generations are coming. That’s because caregivers will be living there. There’s going to be a radical change to senior’s housing, and that’s what this building and the programming allows,” said Collier, a business administration professor at Red Deer College.
The company behind the 12.5 million dollar project was granted variances from city council to increase the height from four storeys to six, and to reduce the on-site parking from 84 spaces to 55.
“Parking is not going to be the issue with this facility. The issue is getting the density to afford the staffing, This project will not work with four storeys because to have a full time general manager, a maintenance manager, recreational coordinator, and to have 24 hour monitoring, you need to have what we call bums in beds. You need people. You need 60, 80, 100 units,” says Collier.
Collier says it will qualify as affordable housing with rents from $895 to $1895 a month.
Proponent Bob Madigat told council, it’s a great product for that location.
“After digging through it for a couple of years, I think the downtown of Vernon will be impressed with the product, and I think it will be good for the city.”
The former Royal Canadian Legion site in downtown Vernon could get new life.
A company is proposing a six story, $12.5 million, seniors care facility for the property at 3300 31st Avenue which has been vacant for several years.
Photo: Design concept for new seniors housing facility on former Legion site on 31 Ave.
70 supportive care units are in the plan along with commercial space on the main floor, and one level of underground parking.
The proponent is seeking a variance to reduce the on site parking from 84 spaces to 55, and to vary the maximum height from four storeys to six, which city staff are recommending council support.
“Given the TDM (transportation demand management) measures to be implemented by the applicant, combined with the proposed use of seniors supportive housing, the downtown locations and proximity to the parkade. a reduction to the number of required off-street parking spaces could be supported from 84 parking spaces to 55,” writes Craig Broderick, City economic development planner, in a report to council.
The variances will be before city council for discussion this afternoon.