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Affordable seniors housing complex pitched for Nanaimo’s hospital district

Seafield Crescent complex would include two five-storey buildings
An artist rendering of a proposed senior housing complex at 1125 Seafield Cres. (Daryoush Firouzli Architecture Inc. image)

A 108-unit affordable seniors housing complex could be coming to the hospital district.

D-Architecture, on behalf of the non-profit Woodgrove Seniors Housing Society, has submitted a development permit application for a seniors housing complex consisting of two new five-storey residential buildings, each with 62 residential units, at 1125 Seafield Cres.

If realized, the development would be located less than 300 metres away from Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

The complex would be constructed in two phases and would result in the demolition of an existing two-story 30-unit building currently located at the Seafield Crescent property.

Phase 1 of the development would see one five-storey building, featuring 54 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units, constructed at the rear of the property. Phase 2 would then see the removal of the existing two-storey building and the construction of the second five-storey building, which would consist of 53 one-bedroom units and nine two-bedroom units. Underground parking will be provided for the second building.

The majority of units would come with either a patio or deck. Appromixately 20 per cent of the units in each building will be accessible.

D-Architecture has requested height variances of less than four metres for each of the two new buildings as well as a reduction in the number of parking stalls from 137 to 125.

As part of the proposed development, 1145 Seafield Cres., a neighbouring property with a two-storey residential building belonging to the seniors housing society will be consolidated into 1125 Seafield Cres. That building would remain and become part of the seniors housing complex proposed by the housing society.

Daryoush Firouzli, principal architect for D-Architecture, told the News Bulletin that the proposed complex is a joint project between the seniors housing society and B.C. Housing. He said the existing two-storey building at 1125 Seafield Cres. is in poor condition and needs extensive repairs.

“It’s quite old,” Firouzli said. “B.C. Housing was planning to repair it but the repair costs were very high. They came in at around $3 million.”

Firouzli said it made more financial sense to construct two new buildings and merge 1125 and 1145 Seafield Cres. into a single property, rather than spend millions on repairs.

“The repairs are not going to add too much life to the existing building…” he said. “The area could use some redevelopment and new faces. This project will do just that.”

According to Firouzli, those living in the existing building on Seafield Crescent will be relocated into the second building once Phase 2 is completed.

Construction on Phase 1 of the development could begin late next year, said Firouzli. 
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