Major seniors’ condo project on the horizon

Tyler Clarke
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Mayor Greg Dionne is seen with a package that the Caleb Group put together for a $24-million, 94-resdient seniors’ condominium-style development proposed to go up at 19 Guy Drive, a couple blocks southeast of the 15th Avenue East and 15th Street intersection. 

The story behind a run-of-the-mill municipal re-zoning application is a significant one that is expected to translate into millions in local economic spinoff.


Although the large-scale, $24-million, 94-unit seniors condominium project is still very early in the approvals process, Mayor Greg Dionne was excited this week to let the cat out of the bag.

“This is going to be a five-star project,” he said. “It’s a high-end project -- it’s high-end managed. They manage their own facilities, and as you can see by the list of facilities they operate that they’ll be one of the showcases in our community when it comes to new complex.”

The Caleb Group owns and managers properties in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Chatham, Kindersley, Tisdale, Humboldt, Melville, Moose Jaw and North Battleford.

As a recent import from North Battleford, Prince Albert city manager Jim Toye oversaw that city’s adoption of a Caleb Group facility.

The process and company was such that he helped encourage the company to build a similar such facility in Prince Albert.

“They’re a very good developer,” he said. “Very good feedback from the community -- actually from the whole area.

“With a facility like this there are people who need this facility where, if they don’t have it in Prince Albert they’ll go to Saskatoon, so it keeps local people in their area … and I think that’s very important.”

The condominium style building is 60 per cent owned by the Caleb Group, with the 40 per cent balance sold.

As such, seniors can buy into various services, such as meal plans and transportation services.

“They’re very full service,” he said, noting that although various services will be made available through the company, the seniors’ complex is independent living.

“Each unit has a fridge and stove and a washer and dryer and their own private washroom,” Toye said.

There’s an obvious need for such a facility in Prince Albert, Toye said -- a overwhelming need that the developer has also recognized by not following their usual process.

“Traditionally when they come to a community they need to pre-sell a certain amount before they start building,” Toye said. “They will not do that in Prince Albert. They’ll just straight up build.”

It’s a high-end project -- it’s high-end managed. They manage their own facilities, and as you can see by the list of facilities they operate that they’ll be one of the showcases in our community when it comes to new complex. Greg Dionne

With the project still very early on in the approvals process, Dionne notes that the piece of land at 19 Guy Drive, a few blocks southeast of the corner of 15th Avenue East and 15th Street, still needs to be re-zoned, which will require a public consultation process.

Prior to a public forum expected to take place within the next month, Dionne plans on canvassing the neighbourhood with area Coun. Tim Scharkowski.

He doesn’t anticipate any roadblocks -- particularly when factoring in the previous proposal for the property.

“When it was first sold to a company to build two apartment buildings there, I didn’t like that idea,” Dionne explained.

“To me, it wasn’t conducive to the neighbourhood, where this property is very conducive to the neighbourhood and will actually be one of its showpieces.”

The tentative plan is to see the project break ground this fall and open in either late 2015 or early 2016 -- pending council approval.

The four-storey, 95,000-square-foot building is expected to bring in an economic spinoff of more than $10 million during its 15-month construction period and an annual economic stimulus of $1 million per year once it’s open.

The Caleb Group anticipates the creation of between 50 and 75 construction jobs while the building goes up, and between 30 and 40 year-round jobs after it opens.

This is the first of three “major announcements” the Daily Herald reported last week that Mayor Greg Dionne was anxious to announce.

Expecting the three announcements to convert into $40 million worth of building permits, one will create 15 jobs, one will create 55 jobs and one (the Caleb Group project) will create up to 40 jobs.

The Caleb Group is declining comment on their Prince Albert project until it has reached the public consultation stage, at which point they’re keen on meeting with city council and the public in sharing their ambitious plans.

The Daily Herald will continue to follow this story as it progresses.

Organizations: Caleb Group, Daily Herald

Geographic location: North Battleford, Winnipeg, Edmonton Moose Jaw Saskatoon 15th Avenue East 15th Street

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Recent comments

  • Donna
    May 06, 2014 - 20:18

    Why don't they just buy the condo units on 15 St and 15 Ave. Looks like it's just going to sit empty and unfinished anyway, and looks about the same as the picture he's holding.

  • PA Guy
    May 02, 2014 - 14:47

    The mayor was probably peeing his pants waiting to spout about this after his seriously failed efforts at economic development. If you come in on the premise of growing the economy her and your whole state of the city address is about ED, you better be able to back it up! We have lost business during his tenure.

  • Kendog
    May 01, 2014 - 23:18

    Jim Toye's relatives likely aren't in the facility in North Battleford. If they were, he would know that they are poorly managed. The rent is extremely high and the furnishings are over the top. There is poor service and often the residents are left on their own. There is no human element in these facilities. The one in North Battleford has several empty rooms and does not have a good reputation in the community. My grandfather is there right now and we are in the process of getting him out.