Photo by Susan Zielinski/Advocate staff Plans for an assisted living facility on the east side of 48th Avenue were approved by Red Deer’s Municipal Planning Commission on Wednesday.

A 79-unit assisted living facility approved for Red Deer

The new facility will be built on the east side of 48th Ave., near the Golden Circle

Plans for an assisted living facility near Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre was approved by Red Deer’s Municipal Planning Commission on Wednesday.

The 79-unit apartment building will be built on the east side of 48th Avenue, spanning the entire block between 45th and 46th Streets, that currently contain older, detached homes.

The $18-million facility will provide level two supportive living care with meals, housekeeping, laundry services, recreation and emergency response.

Doug Mills, Points West Living CEO, said it will be similar to a lodge but suites will be larger and have kitchens.

The average age of residents is expected to be about 82 and they need to be ambulatory.

“People with walkers and wheelchairs will be more than welcome there. The idea is they’re still independent to an extent,” Mills said.

Emerald Developments Ltd., of Sylvan Lake, purchased the 48th Avenue properties and Points West Living will own the facility once it is built.

Points West Living, a for-profit seniors care company, opened a five-storey supportive living facility at 6950 Taylor Dr. in 2016.

Mills said it is the first facility of its type in Alberta for Points West. Others will be built in Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Stony Plain.

“This is a concept we’ve been thinking about for awhile. It’s exciting to try this. It’s a great neighbourhood, and an opportunity to add other options in housing.”

The building will have bachelor, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites, and it is in a great central location near senior services, parks and recreation, he said.

Construction is expected to begin this fall.

The six-member planning commission unanimously approved the plan put forward by Emerald Developments Ltd. but increased the amount of stone accents on the east side of the stucco building that would face a four-storey condominium building, as well as requiring stone on the garbage enclosure. Additional plants must also be added on the east side of the building.

Residents in the condo building argued the new facility was too tall. But city administration said it will be similar in height to other buildings in the area. The proposed building is 20.8 metres high and the condo to the east is 16 metres.

Some were also worried about parking and traffic congestion. The site would include a parking lot for residents, staff and visitors.

Others in the area welcomed the project.

Mayor Tara Veer, who chaired the meeting, said construction of the facility would finally resolve the issue of some derelict homes in the area.

“There have also been complaints about illegal activity in the area so certainly having seniors living in an area means eyes on the street, and it also brings legitimate activity and usage to that site,” Veer said.

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