Charis Village — Lacombe’s newest developing seniors community — recently held an informational session to update the community on their development and also encourage citizens to consider their community as a place to live.
The development, currently in its initial stages after a ribbon cutting in Oct. 2018 — is looking to begin construction in the spring.
“The biggest progress has been that there is now funding to go ahead and start building in April,” Schelley Agrey, marketing representative, said. “Before we were going to wait until half the units were sold, but now funding has come in. That is huge.”
Construction will begin on Phase 1, which consists of 20 duplex units and 46 condo-apartments. Once those are sold, than more units will be constructed — with assisted-living and long-term care further on the horizon.
The City of Lacombe is currently doing utility work in the area that will aide with the development of the nearby subdivision as well as Charis Village.
“The pump is for the second phase,” Warren Kay, marketing representative, said. “While we start construction on the first phase, they will work on the pump for the second phase so we will be able to progress to that when we get there.”
Charis Village, which is run by a not-for-profit and is being marketed as a development run through Christian values, is using the phrase, “Aging with Grace”, to explain their philosophy.
‘It is more than just bricks and mortar — it is about being part of a community that will be there as you age,” Kay said.
The development is not exclusively for Christian tenants but, Kay says, will be operating under Christian principles of, “Love, respect and caring”.
“I like to compare it to living in an environment where it is like a family reunion all the time. Everyone is together, they are friends and it is just a neat environment,” he said.
Kay said a fair analogy to Charis Villages lease-for-life strategy is rent control — which keeps rental properties at fair prices in cities like New York.
“Some of the edge is taken off with this facility because you know what you are getting with it not increasing with the market — but you also know they will not benefit because it will be kept at a rate that is affordable for the future,” he said. “All they need to do is recover the cost of what it takes to build. There is no need to raise the cost because no one is needing to make a living or make a profit.
“These people are volunteering their time and no one is making a profit on this project.”
While the first phase of the development is being done without government assistance — Kay said their is an opportunity for support in the future.
“I think there will be more government assistance for the assisted living and long-term care down the road,” he said.
The board will be hosting two more informational meetings on Feb. 25th at the Sunrise Christian Reformed Church in Ponoka and then on Feb. 28th at the Redeemer United Christian Reformed Church here in Lacombe.