New subdivision of townhouses aimed at older adults

The property on L’Heritage Drive, adjacent to Landmark Village retirement, visible on the right. Cathy Dobson

Cathy Dobson

Steeves & Rozema Group has an ambitious proposal to build 74 new rental townhouses near the heart of Sarnia’s busiest commercial zone.

“These will be unique to Sarnia’s market,” said S & R CEO John Scotland. “We think there’s a strong market of older people who want to live independently but also want to downsize.

“And rather than own a condo, they want to rent.”

If approved, the single-storey townhouses will be located on 2.8 hectares (7 acres) behind Landmark Village retirement home on Exmouth Street, near Lambton Mall Road.

About half the property belongs to the Dante Club and has been used in the past as a soccer field.  S & R has an agreement to buy the land, conditional on rezoning.

A virtual public meeting will be held Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. to consider the required Official Plan and zoning amendments.

Scotland calls the housing an “age-restricted community that complements Landmark next door.”

He expects those renting units will be offered amenities such as housekeeping, and possibly dining at Landmark.

“We also think Landmark could be an option for the townhouse residents when they choose to downsize again,” he said.

Each unit will have two bedrooms and a garage. Rental rates have yet to be determined, said Scotland.

S & R had hoped to have the new subdivision underway by now but the pandemic has slowed the process. The goal now is to have services in the ground for the 74 townhouses by late fall or spring 2021.

“Then we’ll build in blocks, five or six units at a time. We want to get them all built in a year, although there is some uncertainty with COVID and construction,” he said.

If all goes well, the first units will be available for rent by late next summer.

S & R owns and operates dozens of retirement, long-term care and multi-residential facilities in southwestern Ontario.

With approval, the new townhouse subdivision will locate on L’Heritage Drive in an area primarily characterized by commercial plazas and office buildings.

Planning details are available at speakupsarnia.ca or by calling Sarnia’s planning department at 519-332-0330, ext. 3344.