42-unit seniors’ facility proposed

An application by the Mission Association for Seniors’ Housing (MASH) for a new 42-unit four-storey facility at Cherry Avenue and Cedar Street was submitted Monday to council for first reading, with a public hearing planned for July 25.

The one-acre (4 ha.) site would be located adjacent to the Cedar Valley Mennonite Church and is close to Albert McMahon elementary and Griner Park.

A rezoning to multiple family apartment must be made as the property is currently set for suburban dwellings.

Unit sizes will range from 700 to 927 square feet and, unlike some other seniors’ residences, will have individual kitchens. There will, however, be a 1,500 square foot amenity space with kitchen and lounge on the main floor, and smaller lounges on other floors.

The 30,000-square foot outdoor amenity space includes a common patio, pathways, garden plots with sitting areas and a gazebo.

MASH is proposing life-lease housing for tenants – a cross between owning and renting in which people buy their units and the leasehold interest is registered on the title – but the non-profit organization will maintain ownership of the building.

The application includes the closure of Janzen Avenue, which is narrow and currently utilized as a laneway, and the land consolidated as part of the three parcels subject to rezoning.

Access to the building and 42 underground parking spots will be available from both Cherry and Cedar, with eight visitor spaces.

MASH has also requested the Community Amenity Contribution of $118,230 ($2,815 per unit) be waived by the municipality in order to keep development expenditures down, since leasing will be provided at-cost.

Staff has recommended waiving the fees, should the project go forward.

Mayor James Atebe said he was pleased to see the application, adding it’s a rare opportunity for Mission to develop much-needed seniors’ housing.

A traffic study will determine the facility’s impact, though problems aren’t anticipated, as both roadways are four lanes.