Work has begun on a new independent seniors’ housing project in Port Alberni.
Island West Coast Developments Ltd. of Nanaimo has started ground preparation for Timberline at North Park, a 102-unit independent living residence. When completed, sometime in summer 2024, it will be the first large-scale retirement residence for seniors in Port Alberni.
“Vancouver Resource Society (VRS) Communities is very excited to have our 102-unit independent seniors living project under construction in Port Alberni,” said Ken Fraser, executive director. “This will be our 12th project in B.C. and will add a very valuable community asset to Port Alberni.”
The project will provide homes for seniors and also provide on-site support services to allow seniors to age in place in their own community, Fraser added.
The building will be located at 3500 Anderson Avenue, at North Park Drive, and feature a five-storey, wood frame building. Units will be a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom homes. Ten units will be fully accessible and the remainder adaptable to residents’ individual needs so they will be able to age in place.
Residents are already able to register for units online at www.timberlinenorthpark.com. Units will cost between $2,500 and $3,600 to start. Seniors are able to access Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) which helps make rents affordable for seniors with low to moderate incomes. Rent will include meals, seniors’ programs and housekeeping as well as access to amenities such as a clubhouse, dining hall, bistro, games room and lounge.
Other amenities that will be available on site will include a library, movie centre, health care offices, fitness room, craft room and community gardens.
The housing complex was first proposed to Port Alberni City Council in September 2020. Construction was to have started in February 2021.
“Seniors in Port Alberni will have a safe and secure place to live and a full range of services, including meals and health care, with the construction of Timberline at North Park,” said Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne.
The provincial government, through HousingHub, is providing $33.3 million in interim construction financing, which VPS Communities will repay with interest. The City of Port Alberni has waived $283,454 in development cost charges. The total cost of the project was not revealed.