Construction is set to start in late April on the AVENS Pavillion Project after the city sent a permit allowing the project to go ahead.
Council approved the conditional use permit — which is necessary for a long-term care facility to be able to build an expansion — back in February. Since then, city planners have been reviewing the designs.
The building plan includes 92 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom units, more than 80 parking spots, laundry services and a coffee shop.
“We are confident construction of this much needed building will proceed on
schedule in order to meet the housing needs of seniors,” Marion LaVigne, Chair of AVENS Board of Directors, said in a statement.
Currently, Avens has long-term care beds for 55 seniors and 32 housing units, with a waitlist of around 50 people waiting for independent living units, according to Daryl Dolynny, president of AVENS.
The projected completion date is in the fall of 2022. The project had come under scrutiny after a number of residents brought forward concerns about how the building would impact the local area.
An increase in traffic on a laneway connected to Matonabee Street was a big concern, with residents worried about safety. City administration also said during multiple council meetings the area’s roads were not equipped to handle the increase in traffic.
Both Marion and AVENS CEO Daryyl Dolynny said they were concerned about delays and how that could impact the cost of the project moving forward. Dolynny added the cost of raw supplies, including lumber and metal, have risen significantly during the pandemic.
Dolynny said the project should see over $40 million in contracts made available for NWT businesses.
Currently, detailed design work for the pavilion is under way and AVENS will also be seeking feedback from seniors and stakeholders about the project and what services should be included in it.
AVENS says they expect to have rental packages available as early as this fall and could
start accepting applications for apartment rentals later this year if the project
proceeds as planned.