An artist rendering of a proposed 160-unit seniors’ living facility at 4979 Wills Rd. (Finlayson Bonet Architecture)

Seniors’ living facility pitched near Nanaimo’s Long Lake

Proposed 160-unit seniors’ development would be built at 4979 Wills Rd.

A seniors’ living facility is being planned for the city’s north end.

Nanaimo Retirement Living Inc. plans to build a 160-unit seniors’ living facility at 4979 Wills Rd., near Long Lake, according to documents submitted to the city.

Designed by Finlayson Bonet Architecture, the seven-storey building would feature 110 personal care units and 50 multi-family seniors-oriented units. There would also be amenities including a commercial-grade kitchen, television area, juice bar, lounge, exercise room, multi-purpose room as well as a garden and dog park.

The seniors’ facility, if constructed, would be next to the Nanaimo Memory and Complex Care building, which is also owned by Nanaimo Retirement Living Inc.

Silva Bonet, architect for the project, said the proposed seniors’ living facility and the Nanaimo Memory and Complex Care building are designed to complement each other, as they provide slightly different services for seniors at various stages of their life.

“The whole point is to have what we call ‘campus care,’” she said. “When people are downsizing they can move into one of these buildings and they can age. If they need additional services, they can stay in the same building because they can get services brought to their unit. Or, if the case is such that they can’t live on their own, they can move to the [Nanaimo Memory and Complex Care] building next door.”

The proposed facility will have one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with balconies and all units are pet friendly according to Bonet, who said all meals are prepared on site by kitchen staff.

“It’s a commercial kitchen that will provide meals for everybody,” she said, adding that the dining area will view a garden that leads to Long Lake.

Bonet also said there will be plenty of on-site activities and programs for residents as well as a shuttle bus service for those who wish to explore the city.

“The whole idea is to get out of the unit and go and share some of the common areas and some of the things that are happening,” she said. “It’s almost like a cruise ship.”

It’s unclear when construction on the building will begin. Bonet said they are requesting a number of variances including a height variance of 12.6 metres and will need council’s approval before construction can start.

“It’s not rezoning so that makes the process a little bit simpler. Once we get approval, we can start the working drawings,” she said. “As soon as we finish that and get the building permit, we’ll start with construction.”

RELATED: Nanaimo non-profit plans to build affordable seniors’ housing

RELATED: City council gives go-ahead for new affordable seniors’ housing

RELATED: 172-unit apartment development pitched for north Nanaimo







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
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