Prince Rupert Council Moves Senior Housing Projects Forward

The City of Prince Rupert is continuing to give the thumbs up to proposed senior housing projects.

The Metlakatla Development Corporation (design pictured on the right) is looking to build one of the projects on the old King Edward School site.

Metlakatla's Shaun Thomas says the project will try and ensure seniors have a variety of living arrangements.

"Very different sizes of unit. Some people want large units, some people want small units. There are a total of 42 units. Thirty-two will put into apartment blocks with a common area in the middle for people to socialize and get together. There's also a row of ten townhouses that are may be there for people looking for larger units."

The next steps is getting city's final approval, which will include a public hearing for any residents to voice concerns or support for the project.

Thomas believes it will be beneficial, as the lot in the Eighth Avenue East and Green Street area has been vacant for a number of years.

"It sat boarded up and empty for a number of years. Then, the Metlakatla Development Corporation purchased the site and the building was torn down in 2012. It was a little bit of an eye sore previously, it was a point of discussion amongst the members of the community. So, I think to breathe new life into this and not just create a good looking building, but also a very functional building that fills the need is something we're very much looking forward to."

Macro Properties also got the go ahead by the city to transform the old Neptune Motor Inn into senior housing.

Mayor Lee Brain says construction is already underway.

"Average rent will be between 550-800 dollars a month, depending on the unit. Everything is included in them. We went through a public process and information session, where the public was able to come out and express their concerns about the project and ultimately didn't hear too much resistance and it's definitely something much needed in the community. They're already working on the building we definitely anticipate that project to get up and running very shortly."

Mayor Brain says it's great to see these kinds of projects happening.

"We have a situation where we had a lot of retirees who are in very big homes need to be able to sell their homes and downscale to somewhere a little bit more manageable. It's just something difficult in Rupert or it's not seen as retirement community. It's something we're really working hard to change."

As for the Metlakatla project, if approval is given, they hope to have shovels in the ground by the end of summer and then aim to have residents move in between mid to late spring.

[Photo credit: Metlakatla]