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Inglewood rebuild plan leaves door open to more publicly funded care beds in West Van

Baptist Housing has submitted a formal redevelopment application that includes changes to original plan

This story has been amended since first posting to add notice of the June 9 public information meeting. 

Baptist Housing, the non-profit owners of West Vancouver’s Inglewood Care Centre, say they’re leaving the door open to including more publicly funded long-term care beds in their redevelopment plans – if Vancouver Coastal Health approves that.

“We are optimistic that is a possibility,” said Marc Kinna, president and CEO of Baptist Housing. “We consistently have that conversation with Vancouver Coastal Health. It’s their decision where there are funded beds.”

Eight months after Baptist Housing first presented plans for the redevelopment of the Inglewood Care Centre property, this week the non-profit group submitted a formal application to the District of West Vancouver, which includes changes to the original proposal.

Plans for the still include the replacement of the current 230 publicly funded long-term care beds with a new care home that will include those 230 public beds and also include 10 privately paid long-term care beds.

Plans for subsequent phases of the development still include three additional buildings on the site that will include a range of other seniors housing, including rental suites, privately paid long-term care and assisted living suites, and an affordable housing component with room for seniors as well as staff who work at the care centre.

Several changes have been made to the design of the $500-million project since September – some of them based on public comments and some suggested by Vancouver Coastal Health.

Among them, the long-term care facility that will replace the current Inglewood Care Centre has been split into two buildings to increase view corridors. Buildings have also been set into the slope of the hillside and lowered by one to two storeys to improve sight lines, said Kinna.

The new design for the long-term care building incorporates new health guidelines and now organizes residents into two smaller 12-room “households” on a floor. That will cost more to staff, said Kinna, but “infection control is easier” and “it’s a better quality of life.”

In the new design, traffic and parking has been re-routed away from Burley Drive to underground, he added.

The total number of units in the development is similar to the 700 previously planned.

Between phases 1 and 2, plans include a total of 82 privately paid long-term care beds. But Kinna said Baptist Housing is open to making more of those publicly funded beds.

“If Vancouver Coastal Health would like those beds, they are available to them,” he said.

The shortage of publicly funded long-term care beds on the North Shore has recently come into sharp focus with the announced closure of Capilano Care Centre, which will leave a combined shortage of 130 existing long-term care beds in North and West Vancouver.

Kinna said the Inglewood plan, which has the backing of the federal Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and the province, through BC Housing and Vancouver Coastal Health, presents a rare opportunity to invest in seniors care on the North Shore. “It’s critical we take advantage of it while it’s available,” said Kinna.

Another key factor is the quickly rising costs of construction.

Kinna said Baptist Housing hopes the project will be presented to council for consideration of first reading in the next few months, when future steps, including a public hearing, would be determined. Rezoning applications typically take between 12 and 18 months, according to the district.

In a best-case scenario, said Kinna, the new long-term care buildings that will replace Inglewood could open in 2025.

Baptist Housing will host a virtual public information meeting on Wednesday, June 9 at 7 p.m for the community to learn more about its redevelopment application. Access the online meeting through the Zoom link on the Baptist Housing website. The meeting will be recorded and posted unedited to the same webpage.