Seniors complex could revitalize downtown core, developers say

A proposed 380-unit seniors complex could bring new life to Summerland’s downtown businesses, developer representatives say.

A proposed 380-unit seniors complex, to be built in the Banks Crescent area, could bring new life to Summerland’s downtown businesses, developer representatives say.

Rudi van den Broek, chief operating officer of the Lark Group. said the project will bring new jobs to the community as staff will be needed to work at the facility.

“It’s important to realize this new neighbourhood will have a fair number of younger adults working in it,” he said.

As a result, he said the real estate market will benefit and schools will see enrolment figures increase.

In addition, the downtown businesses will benefit from increased activity.

The project is expected to bring 200 to 300 local construction jobs over the three years of building the first phase.

Then, once the facility is operating, it will have 75 to 100 full-time equivalent jobs.

“It’s a positive. People will love it,” said Kirk Fisher, senior vice-president of the Lark Group.

He added that the concerns which have been raised about the development have been taken seriously.

Fisher said traffic in the area has been studied and the delay at key intersections will increase from 2.2 seconds at present to three seconds if the development is in place.

“You won’t be able to recognize any significant delay,” he said. “It will be practically unnoticeable.”

He added that the residents in the development will not do much travel outside of the complex, and when they do, a bus service will bring them into the core of the community. The project was introduced to the community on Nov. 14, at the municipal council meeting.

An information meeting in December, held by the developer, saw 30 people attend.

Further public presentation sessions and a formal open house are planned for the new year.