Seniors’ housing needs met

If the latest project for Regency Retirement Resorts is a bell weather of the local economy, then perhaps there is room for some optimism looking ahead.

Regency Retirement Resort directors Ed Hall (left) and Greg Kornell are joined by Indie at the construction site for the company’s new Northwood facility in Kelowna at Cawston and Bernard.

If the latest project for Regency Retirement Resorts is a bell weather of the local economy, then perhaps there is room for some optimism looking ahead.

Back in 2009, Regency was ready to start construction on a $30-million project at the corner of Gordon Drive and Cawston Avenue in Kelowna, called Northwood Retirement Resort.

It was to be the fourth Regency seniors’ facility in the Central Okanagan, joining Sandalwood in North Glenmore, Missionwood in the Mission and Westwood in West Kelowna, all built over the last decade.

But the recession was kicking in and Regency developer Ed Hall elected to wait.

The housing market is a key indicator for Regency’s business, as seniors need to be able to sell their homes in order to downsize to independent living on a smaller scale.

As well, Hall said they started looking at ways to lower the entry point for seniors looking to move into Northwood from $2,200.

“We did some serious brainstorming and came up with some ideas of things we could change that would help lower that number,” Hall said.

Those ideas included changing housekeeping and linen service to bi-weekly from weekly, changing the daily bus service for residents from daily to three days a week, reducing the 100+ cable TV package down to the basis service, and having only one entree instead of two for dinner each night.

“We totalled up those changes, and we found a savings of about $300 a month which put us under the $2,000 entry point mark,” Hall said.

“We were able to do that and still provide the same amenities and level of enrichment leisure services but just slightly toning down the level of some services.”

So today, Regency has started construction on Northwood. The complex will be built in two phases—97 units with all the amenities for a spring 2011 completion and a further 64 units later on.

Hall is excited about the Northwood location, as it’s central to services that seniors might want, in an area where many seniors already live in apartments or older single-family homes.

“The rental sign just had gone up and the phone started to ring,” Hall said. “We knew a lot of seniors lived in the immediate area, in many of the condos that were built in that area of Bernard and Gordon back in the 1980s, so for those seniors the product we are offering is a perfect match for them.

“When you’re making a move to a facility like ours, to be able to stay in your own neighbourhood, to be around friends, family and other services you are familiar with is an ideal situation.”

The basic package for Northwood rental tenants will come with daily evening meals, transportation, activities and a 24-hour medical alert service.

The public areas will include the kitchen and white tablecloth dining room, fireside lounge with a piano, theatre, book and computer library, activities room with a pool table and shuffleboard, a woodworking shop and spa and fitness facility.

Hall said Regency likes to provide unique attributes to each of their facilities in Kelowna.

For Northwood, that will be a 3,000 square-foot indoor garden in a 20-foot-tall conservatory that is annexed to the dining room, he said. And it will also be the first Regency resort with a home winemaking facility.

Hall said for seniors looking to leave their own home or apartment for a senior’s facility is not about giving up independence.

“We argue that in fact you are actually increasing your independence because you no longer have to be dependent on yourself or others for transportation, home maintenance issues, grocery shopping or to maintain a yard. All of that is looked after for you,” Hall said.

“I had someone stop me in the hallway at Missionwood the other day and say they wished they had made the move five years earlier.”

For more information about available Northwood rental units, call 250-762-7344.

 

Just Posted

Big White to send off Olympians in style

Okanagan ski resort picked as location for official send-off of Canada’s 2018 Winter Olympic team

Flames ruin birthday in Lake Country

Fire crews were called to a home in Lake Country, Sunday night

Kelowna airport hosts accessibility event

Canucks Autism Network event brings families together to help deal with air travel

B.C.’s minimum wage in the spotlight in Kelowna Tuesday

The Fair Wages Commission will hold a hearing to gather public input

Dogs in the classroom

Therapy dogs help young students learn in the Okanagan

Heavy snowfall expected on Coquihalla

Snow forecast for mountain highways

ICBC overbilling not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

Last day for shoeboxes at Kelowna Gospel Fellowship

Kelowna church has been gathering gifts for kids in need in countries around the world

B.C. sport groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Traxxas Monster Truck Tour to roll into Kelowna

Monster Trucks at Prospera Place on Jan. 13-14, 2018.

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

Hard of Hearing group to lobby for better services

Kelowna group says public buildings in Kelowna and the Okanagan should be better equipped

Most Read