Seniors’ housing planned for Nelson’s Vernon St.

Kelowna company has purchased a lot that has been empty for more than a century

The proposed seniors’ housing development would be four storeys in height from its Vernon St. entrance. The presentation to council was for information only and council made no decisions about it. Illustration courtesy of Vendure Retirement Communities

The proposed seniors’ housing development would be four storeys in height from its Vernon St. entrance. The presentation to council was for information only and council made no decisions about it. Illustration courtesy of Vendure Retirement Communities

A Kelowna company intends to build a 127-unit seniors’ housing complex at 611 Vernon St. That’s the large empty lot across the street from the Adventure Hotel, currently used for private parking.

Joseph Schlacter of Vendure Retirement Communities presented the concept, which includes an assisted living component and a variety of amenities, to Nelson city council on Monday.

“It will be almost like an all-inclusive resort,” he said.

The development would be a private business with no government funding. Its assisted living services would be regulated by the provincial government and the BC Seniors Living Association. The facility would be managed by Advocare Health Services of Kelowna although Vendure would remain the owner.

Residents would lease their premises from the company and the services would include dining hall and meal services, a private family dining room, laundry, theatre and games room, chapel, gym, bistro, billiards room, rooftop gardens, exterior courtyards with games, offsite shuttle service, crafts room, workshop, library, and therapy room.

In addition, the company will employ nurses and other staff to provide, for a fee, individualized assisted living services to residents who need it including medication management, daily living assistance (e.g. dressing and bathing), dietary specializations, and “behavioural/psycho-social” assistance.

“We are forecasting our lease rates for one and two bedroom units to fall in the range of $2,000 to $3,500 per month,” Schlacter wrote in an email to the Star, “varying on size, location and number of residents within the suite. Our assisted living fees are based on the residents’ specific needs, therefore will vary and be determined accordingly.”

He told council a feasibility study has pointed to Nelson as “a thriving community with a need for seniors housing” and as one where local seniors would not want to move to another community for housing.

“We worked with a local realtor,” said Schlacter, “researched the market, and chose this property because it jumped out at us right away.”

Schlacter’s presentation was for council’s information only. Council made no decisions on Monday about the project.

The six-storey building would rise four floors above Vernon St. with two storeys below the street, the lowest being a parking level. The alley side of the building will also include some public parking. Commercial space is planned for the Vernon St. level, probably medically-related businesses such as doctors or therapists.

Current zoning allows for a 16-metre high building in that location, and Schlacter said the Vernon St. side of the building will be less than that, but the north side will be 18.5 metres because the lot drops so far below street level, and he plans to apply to the city for a height variance.

Vendure currently runs a seniors housing facility in Salmon Arm and is developing another in Prince George.

Schlacter said there is no formal minimum age for the facility but in Salmon Arm it is 80.

“People are living longer, they have more healthy lifestyles, are more active and we will promote that in our facilities. An 80 year old in our facilities would be a fairly active person.”

He said six units will be two-bedroom and others one-bedroom. It has not been decided if there will be full kitchens in all units. There will be exterior courtyards including one on the roof, and the company is looking into the possibilities of solar panels and Kootenay Carshare involvement.

“We want something that will fit with the community, not a big institutional eyesore,” he told council. “These are the residents’ homes and we want them to be proud of where they live. Much of the problems that come with seniors housing is that they are institutional, depressing, and not places seniors can thrive in.”

Local historian Greg Nesteroff told the Star the lot has always been empty.

“There has never been a building there to my knowledge, although there have been several proposals over the years to build a hotel. Photos of the area from 1899 show a few buildings on either side of that lot, but it looked as empty then as it does now.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The vacant lot at 611 Vernon, shown here with the Salvation Army building in the background, has been empty for more than century. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

The vacant lot at 611 Vernon, shown here with the Salvation Army building in the background, has been empty for more than century. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

The back of the building would be six storeys high. Illustration courtesy of Vendure Retirement Communities

The back of the building would be six storeys high. Illustration courtesy of Vendure Retirement Communities

Seniors’ housing planned for Nelson’s Vernon St.

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Nelson Police responded to 802 calls last year they say had an element of mental health. File photo
Nelson Police: 802 mental-health related calls in 2020

That accounts for 12 per cent of total calls for service

Several large trees came down in the recent windstorm and destroyed a part of the building that houses Camp Koolaree’s showers and boy’s washroom. The camp has served generations of Kootenay families since 1931 as the Nelson area’s longest running children’s summer camp. Photo: Submitted
Camp Koolaree’s wash house destroyed by January windstorms

The camp is in need of donations to make repairs

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read