by Dave Preston
Seniors wanting to live in Peachland independently but with an assisted twist could have a new housing option in a couple of years.
More than 50 people turned out Thursday to hear about a retirement apartment complex that was originally billed as the second coming of the Gateway.
Brian Anderson was the developer behind the Gateway, located on the corner of 13th Street and Beach Avenue, notable for its mixed use concept of commercial space on the bottom floor and several floors of condos above.
In January, 2008, Anderson held a public information meeting to unveil a new development called Oasis, to be located kitty-corner to Gateway on 13th Street and between San Clemente and Lake Avenues.
Oasis was to be similar to the Gateway concept and was approved by district council, but it never got built.
Anderson said Thursday the reason Oasis was put on hold was, “The economy.”
“There’s no more money left for the Gateway style buildings,” said Anderson.
He said he looked at senior’s housing before and after the economy went into a tailspin in 2008, “We looked at what we could do with the building.”
“In Peachland, we looked for a need,” said Anderson.
The District of Peachland hired consulting firm CitySpaces in 2006, which worked with a team from UBCO to conduct a study on the need for senior’s housing. That group determined that by 2010 there would be a need for an additional 167 senior’s housing units in Peachland.
Anderson has kept the original name for the project, Oasis, but the concept is completely different from the originally proposed twin of Gateway.
The project is a four-storey building that will have limited commercial space on the bottom floor and three floors of retirement community apartments.
Consultants with the project presented the concept Thursday and asked the crowd to complete surveys to help them fine tune what the complex would offer.
Oasis could hold between 50 and 60 apartments of varying sizes and include a common dining area and other amenities.
“I want to build a nice building, not a Cadillac, that people can afford to be in,” said Anderson.
A consultant with the project said the best case scenario would be a finished Oasis built in 18 months.