Cueing on the success of a similar project in Vancouver, the first B.C. retirement housing project to combine rentals and condominiums with an intergenerational concept has started construction in Victoria.
Aquara by Element is an $88-million, harbour-side community downtown being developed by Vancouver-based Element Lifestyle Retirement. It is part of the Bayview master plan community in the Songhees area of Victoria West.
“A key part of our approach is community consultation to gather feedback from prospective residents and their families,” said Element vice-president Candy Ho. She said that consultation has persuaded Element to allow a mix of generations in the facility.
At full build out Aquara by Element will have 157 suites with 47 homes, 75 rental suites and 35 suites providing licensed medical care. More than 120 of the homes will be independent and supportive-living suites.
Element is currently completing the luxury Opal retirement village, its $108 million flagship project in Vancouver’s Cambie area. Opening this fall, Opal has now sold 100% of its condos. Rental reservations are fully booked and there is a waiting list for any vacancies, Ho said.
Aquara sold or received rental reservations on 20 per cent of available condos and rentals at a pre-launch event in early August.
“[Our] intergenerational approach creates the comforts of home within a vibrant gathering place” said Ho. Element recently won an international award for its intergenerational vision for Oasis by Element, a $200 million retirement village in Langley, which is currently in the approval stage.
The 153,500-square foot Aquara will include approximately 30,000 square feet of indoor and additional outdoor terrace, patios and rooftop garden for residents. The project will be completed late 2021.
Element Lifestyle (Vic Harbour West) Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Element Lifestyle Retirement Inc., is the general partner of Aquara Limited Partnership, the property owner. It is anticipated that the construction costs will be financed through a combination of debt and limited partnership funding.