Construction of a 160-bed long-term care home that will employ 208 people will begin in the fall of 2023 next to the Community Hub on Richmond Street in Amherstburg, the province announced Thursday. The value of the project is estimated at $45 million.
Paul Calandra, Ontario’s Minister of Long-Term Care, announced that the 59 beds allocated to Chateau Park Long-Term Care Home in Windsor will move to Amherstburg along with an additional 101 beds. The Province has awarded the project to Arch Corporation.
The deal to sell the eastern portion of the St. Bernard property to Arch for $900,000 closed in May. The Town bought the school building and surrounding property in 2018 from the Catholic School Board for $550,000.
The Town still owns the balance of that property, which is home to a vibrant and bustling community hub featuring vital services and valuable community organizations, including a nurse practitioner’s clinic, the House Youth Centre, Fighting Island Boxing Club and Amherstburg Community Services, which provides vital supports to our most vulnerable residents and, in particular, our seniors.
The relocation of the boxing club to the community hub allowed the Town to sell the property on which it sat, at the corner of Victoria and Fryer Streets, for $800,000 plus HST.
The long-term care home announcement dovetails nicely with the services offered at the community hub and plans recently approved by Council to maximize the Town’s potential as an age-friendly community.
Council discussed a proposal Monday night from Stillbrook Retirement Residences Inc. to purchase a parcel of land across the street from the long-term care home site and the community hub — the two acres of property on which the vacant ACS Building sits.
Dr. Peter Nord outlined his company’s proposal to construct a four-storey, affordable assisted living facility catering to as many as 191 seniors that would generate 20-full-time jobs at the facility and 50-60 full-time spinoff jobs in the community.
In addition to fulfilling a pressing community need for affordable accommodation for seniors, creating jobs and a campus of compassion around the community hub, proceeds from the sale of property could be used to fund the replacement of recreational amenities displaced by the sale of 15 acres of Centennial Park to the school board.
As well, annual property taxes in the range of $189,000 could be plowed back into our parks, which have historically been underfunded.
Council expressed concern that Nord’s offer for the property was about $1 million below the appraised value of the property and also with his request that all building fees and development charges for the project be waived.
Two residents who delegated at the meeting urged Council to reject any deal because the land was part of what remains of Centennial Park.
Council deferred making any decision so it could gather more public input as part of the ongoing parks consultation process as Monday marked the first time the public had seen this proposal.
Residents have asked questions about the parcels of land being discussed and the aerial picture below, which has Richmond Street on the left and Fryer Street at the top, helps clarify things.
The Community Hub and new long-term care home site are on the left-hand side of Richmond Street and immediately to the right of Richmond Street is Russell Renaud Hill and the former ACS site.
The light green graphic on the right overlaying a portion of the track and field complex is the footprint of the new high school under construction.
Read the Council report on the Stillbrook proposal!
Read the presentations from the resident delegates!