Posted by Sudbury Northern Life Reporter Bill Bradley
Chelmsford residents are happy there is housing for seniors in their community, said local builder Ivan Dupuis.
A former French Catholic elementary school at 14 Ontario St., behind the Dairy Queen, will be turned into a seniors apartment, said Dupuis.
"Already I have 35 seniors on my list for units. I just got my building permit from the city so I am ready to go," he said.
The building, called Place Jacques Cartier Seniors' Residence, will have 14 units built by Christmas, with up to another 34 possible in the second phase.  Dupuis said the site is perfect for seniors.
"The street is quiet and beautiful. In my building there will be no stairs and a wheelchair accessible entry with a secured entrance."
Dupuis said at a public meeting he held in the former school, residents were initially leery of his redevelopment plans until he explained the units were designed for seniors.
Though rents may seem high, $1,250, everything included, for a 560 square foot one-bedroom apartment and $1,500 for a 870 square foot two bedroom apartment, Dupuis said rents are similar to those in high rise apartments in the central core of the city.
He also said rents for new construction have risen dramatically due to cost increases recently.
"My property offers a lot more. There will be a 15 by 15 foot gazebo, a large patio area, access to a 50 by 50 foot children's playground on the site, flower beds and landscaping, with a lot of trees, and a prime location in Chelmsford."
Inside will be extra rooms, possibly for a hairdresser or even a nurse to set up, laundry facilities, games rooms and a common room.
Best of all is the location, he noted.
"A lot of seniors in Chelmsford want to get out of their homes because of the maintenance they have to do. But they do not want to leave Chelmsford. Neither do their families. They want them close by to visit."
There is enough parking for visitors.
"There will be a total of up to 27 parking spots for tenants and their visitors. That works out to about 1.5 parking spots per unit. There also will be some parking in front of the building for health care and service workers coming on-site."