A housing project in downtown Castlegar is one step closer to fruition for the Kootenay Society for Community Living (KSCL) after a land-swap agreement with the City of Castlegar was finalized last week.
The project will be built at 1101 2nd Street. The project is still in the early stages of design and development, but preliminary plans call for a three-story building with a five-bedroom care facility on the main floor for KSCL clients.
Between six and eight affordable one-bedroom units will be located on the second and third floors and they’ll be available for the general public.
The lot where the building is being built is the former site of the City Centre Motel. In 2011, the city stepped in to doze the derelict property after a ten-year battle with the property’s owners Susan and Basil McLaren. The demolition order was taken to the B.C. Supreme Court on appeal by the McLarens, but the court ruled in the city’s favour. The city then gained ownership of the property through a tax sale in 2012.
Meanwhile, KSCL owned a property at 1375 Columbia Avenue, which is the lot adjacent to St. David’s Anglican Church.
The city and KSCL entered into an agreement to swap the two properties. The 2nd Street property is valued at $129,000 and the Columbia Avenue property is valued at $69,300.
City planner Shannon Marshall said the city decided to enter into the agreement even though their property had a higher dollar value in order to support local affordable housing initiatives.
“The property is in a prime commercial location,” said Marshall, referencing the city’s new Columbia Avenue property.
“If the city decides to sell the property for development, the city will publish notice of the proposed disposition in accordance with the Community Charter.”
KSCL is a non-profit society that supports more than 120 adults and teens with diverse abilities through services such as residential care, home support, group activities and individual client supports throughout the Castlegar, Nelson and Creston areas. They employ 150 individuals and 13 contractors. KSCL already owns and operates 10 supportive housing facilities.
The project is being made possible through a funding partnership with Columbia Basin Trust and B.C. Housing through a capital grant.
Project manager Olivia McMahon says the projected opening date will be sometime in 2022.