On Wednesday

Assisted living facility planned for northwest

Northwest Red Deer should soon have a five-storey assisted living facility.

Northwest Red Deer should soon have a five-storey assisted living facility.

On Wednesday, the city’s municipal planning commission unanimously approved plans for the 134-suite building at 6791 65th Ave. It will be designed for a range of needs, with apartment-style independent living on the fourth and fifth floors, and assisted-living accommodations on the ground level.

“It’s an aging-in-place community,” said Doug Mills of Points West Living of Edmonton.

Points West Living operates a number of supportive living facilities in Alberta, including one in Stettler. It’s developing the Red Deer project jointly with property owner L-7 Inc., as Points West Living Red Deer Inc.

Plans call for a hair salon, multi-purpose room, dining room, commercial kitchen, day care and adult day program on the main floor, with dining areas, kitchens and lounge areas on the second and third floors. There will be 102 parking stalls, and landscaping well in excess of the minimum requirements under the city’s land use bylaw.

Toby Lampard, president of L-7, said construction could start this winter and will take about 18 months to complete.

Cost of the project is expected to be between $25 million and $27 million, said Mills.

The site is on the west side of Taylor Drive in the Golden West neighbourhood, with residential, industrial and commercial lands around it. It previously served as an oilfield storage yard.

In August, city council voted to re-zone the commercial major arterial property to allow multi-family, assisted living, day care and adult day care uses. Concerns were raised at that time about the lot’s proximity to light industrial buildings, but Lampard said Wednesday that steps have been taken to address these.

“We were fairly comfortable or we wouldn’t have selected the location.”

Red Deer’s Social Planning Department has identified a need for this type of facility in the area, and Mills said his company agrees there is a shortage of supportive living options on the north side of the city.

Lampard added that the site’s easy access to Taylor Drive and 67th Street should appeal to many prospective residents, as will the fact that there are commercial areas nearby.

Some members of the commission wondered about the potential for traffic problems on Taylor Drive, but Lampard and Mills pointed out that the majority of the people living in the building will not drive. Mills added that staff shift changes won’t coincide with peak traffic periods.

The commission’s approval is conditional upon a traffic impact assessment and an environmental assessment being completed.

Mills anticipates that about 80 units in the building will be filled by residents placed there through Alberta Health Services. Most of the rest will occupy the independent living quarters, with their own kitchens, but will also have access to meals, housekeeping and other services.

L-7 also owns the adjacent land to the north, with this area tentatively slated for a six-storey building with commercial tenants on the main floor and residential development above.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

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