Additional accessibility, new community space, and a unique heating system are among the features of the newly built Charlotte Court seniors residence in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, which opened in 2011.
Replacing an outdated seniors facility on the site, the modern, energy-efficient Charlotte Court comprises 48 affordable apartments, including 12 barrier-free units. Killam Properties Inc. and APM Construction Services Inc. partnered to complete the $12 million project on behalf of the provincial government, which formerly owned the property. Killam also constructed a second building with at market rents on the same property.
“The original building had met its life expectancy,” explained Bill Fleming, Provincial Housing Co-ordinator, Department of Community Services and Seniors. “After exploring options to redevelop it, we opted for a private partnership.”
The project received $1,477,000 in combined federal and provincial funding under the stimulus phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan for new rental housing for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. The new affordable apartments are subsidized and leased by the province.
The development is located on a main arterial road in the heart of Charlottetown’s Spring Park, an established, centrally located neighbourhood close to retail, churches and walking trails. Amenities include an elevator, a spacious lobby, a common gathering room, laundry facilities on each floor and a fitness room. The building uses local district heating powered by biomass.
“The below-market, subsidized rents enable seniors to remain in their own community in a modern, energy-efficient, well-appointed apartment complex with many features that would otherwise be unaffordable,” said Tim Banks, CEO of APM Construction Services Inc. and a Killam Properties director.
Mrs. Veda Ling moved into Charlotte Court in May 2013. Prior to the move, the 91-year-old widow lived in an apartment in an older home, where stairs posed a problem. “I was fine until my health changed and I developed a heart condition,” she said.
Her new apartment is not only accessible, but also much more affordable than where she lived before.
“It’s plenty roomy and I like the open concept,” Mrs. Ling said. “I can’t walk to the stores, but my family helps me out. They like to visit me and it’s big enough to accommodate everyone.”