OPAL retirement residences

Element receives excavation permit for OPAL project

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The City of Vancouver has issued an excavation permit to Element Lifestyle Retirement Inc. (Element) for OPAL, the developer’s flagship retirement residence in Cambie Village. Construction on OPAL is completely financed and construction is scheduled to begin immediately after a ground-breaking ceremony on February 21.

The $106-million project is located in the core of Vancouver’s west side, on the Cambie Corridor. The development will span an entire city block and will feature views of downtown, the mountains to the north and Queen Elizabeth Park to the south.

OPAL will consist of about 142,000 square feet of specially designed residences, including 44 residential condominium units, 56 rental units and 30 seniors’ Complex Care units in three buildings. The project incorporates the full spectrum of retirement lifestyles including Independent Living, Assisted Living and the aging-in-place Complex Care concept.

“OPAL’s intergenerational aging-in-place model is proving to be much desired and needed. It is designed to overcome the stigma of “old folks’ homes” by encouraging multiple generations to interact in a dynamic, meaningful way on a regular basis, as families and friends do at home,” said Candy Ho, vice president of marketing and corporate relations, in a press release.

“Instead of requiring every occupant to be a “senior,” as other retirement residences do, our model requires only one occupant to be at least 55 years of age, by covenant in the rental component,” she continues. “What makes us elderly-appropriate is the service for aging-in-place such as hospitality, personal support and nursing care services so that residents can stay until the end of life. Suites are specifically designed with subtle and thoughtful details to accommodate mobility challenges over time, but aesthetically, they are elegant and modern and spatially, they can facilitate family living, not just seniors’ existence.”

Element partnered with BMO, which committed up to $84 million, to provide financing for the project, said Don Ho, president of Element. Peak Construction Group was chosen to be the construction management contractor for the project.

Pre-sales of units in OPAL have surpassed $20 million, which accounts for about 40 per cent of available inventory, in six weeks of sales. The company anticipates pre-sales will be completed by the third quarter of 2017. The current profile of condominium purchasers and occupants for the project is an average of 65 years of age, in contrast with the industry average of 87.

Construction on OPAL is expected to be completed in early 2019. There will be no phasing-in period, as all three buildings in the development will open for occupancy at the same time.

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