Vancouver Coastal Health is planning a new 180-bed seniors’ facility in the Lynn Creek neighbourhood.
The health authority announced June 1 that it had signed an agreement with Trellis Care to build Creekstone Care Centre, a six-storey building on eight Oxford Street lots just east of Mountain Highway.
Of the 180 beds, 150 will be funded by Vancouver Coastal Health, which also regulates and licenses care homes. Those beds will be filled based on community needs. The remaining 30 rooms will be for Trellis to rent out on a private basis. All will come with 24/7 nursing care and support.
The District of North Vancouver’s official community plan foresees low-density apartments built on that site although, due to the size of the project, it may require an amendment of the official community plan, according to Dan Milburn the district deputy general manager of planning and permits.
Deborah Lorimer, clinical director for the residential rejuvenation project, said she isn’t expecting a difficult time at district council, which must approve the rezoning and issue permits before construction can begin.
“It’s a very old neighbourhood down there that’s been waiting for developers to come along for a long time,” she said. “The company’s been in contact with the district all the way through this process and there’s been nothing unfavourable in terms of the usage of the land for the purposes of residential care.”
The OCP includes a directive to council to encourage more seniors’ facilities.
Seniors who move in when the facility opens in 2018 will find a different kind of extended care facility than most are used to, Lorimer said. On the inside, the building is oriented like a group of small, 16-home “neighbourhood” units. Residents will have single-bedroom suites with ensuite bathrooms. Each unit will share a communal dining and living area.
“It’s taking the place of outdated, poorly used facilities that we’ve not had a chance to do for many, many years. So we’re really excited about the fact we’re getting an up-to-date, modern design and a place residents will feel more at home and it will be a superb place for staff to (work),” Lorimer said.
Mary Ackenhusen, president and CEO of VCH called it “part of the biggest improvement of residential care facilities in VCH in the past 50 years.”
The province announced agreements to build five other care centres around the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast at the same time, part of a $40-million effort over 10 years to boost the number of residential care beds.
Trellis operates care homes in Kamloops, Prince George and Penticton. VCH is aiming to have Creekstone open by the fall of 2018.