Developer promotes ‘active adult living’ complex

Steel Creek Developers come to Invermere to propse seniors housing project

Are you an active senior? Empty nester? Looking to downsize? Then Trevor Rempel wants to talk to you.

Mr. Rempel, on behalf of his family-run company Steel Creek Developers, came to Invermere last week to discuss what their company builds – apartment-style complexes geared towards “active adult living,” Mr. Rempel described.

Mr. Rempel wants to start to gauge local interest in such a development in Invermere.

“We want to get a sense of the needs and options, and look at what people here want to see,” Mr. Rempel explained of his presentation. “My objective here it to try and learn what the needs are here.”

It is just a general concept now, but Mr. Rempel presented some features they incorporate into each of their builds, as well as some potential design ideas. However, he emphasized, what is built here would depend on local preferences and more formal consultation. While Steel Creek’s developments are not billed as ‘age-in-place’ designs, they try to incorporate as many conveniences as possible into the suites to allow for staying in the homes as long as possible, such as higher wall plugs so you don’t have to bend down, wider doorways that could accommodate wheelchairs, two bathrooms – one with a shower, one with a tub – even the breakfast bars are made for shorter stools instead of bar-height so those with mobility issues can still sit at the kitchen counter. Steel Creek builds their projects with an intentional focus on community building, such as having a shared communal kitchen and living room type area where residents can gather and socialize.

A sample building Mr. Rempel described would feature 1,200 square foot units: two bedroom, two bath, open-concept design with oversized windows. The number of units will depend on the level of interest as well as the investment group, though Mr. Rempel said they typically target builds of at least 24 units.

The company is run by a dad and three sons (Trevor Rempel being the eldest son) out of the Prairies. While Steel Creek Developers have only built a handful of their own buildings, president Ken Rempel (the father) worked for another company for years that did similar work.

Steel Creek Developers likes to stick to a rental-only model. An investment group puts in the cash, and renters hand over a $65,000 loan. They get 3 per cent back from the loan as interest, paid in the form of discount on the monthly rent. Renters receive their $65,000 back when they move out.

With nearly 20 people in attendance, there were a number of questions for the developer, including the possibility of building units for ownership instead of renting, the cost and design of the units, pets, details on the financial side of the investor group as well as tenant rules and rights.

Steel Creek Developers has been in discussion with local realtor Barry Brown-John, who is eyeing a potential project like this for his land south of Westside Park. Though he said, “If the concept is acceptable in the community, we can identify other properties [too].”

For more information on the company, visit www.steelcreekdevelopers.ca.

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