CORNER BROOK — Standing inside one of the new Parkview Apartments, Matt Churchill expects the unit’s future tenant will be very happy.
Churchill is president of Parkview Apartments Inc. The non-profit corporation was set up by First United Church to develop and administer a project to turn the annex and gymnasium area of the Park Street church into a 10-unit apartment complex for seniors.
“We’re getting pretty close to the end now,” said Churchill of the construction process.
Except for some finishing touches, and a cleaning, the 10 apartments — eight two-bedroom, one one-bedroom and one two-bedroom accessible — are ready for occupancy. Churchill said there is still some work to be done in other areas of the complex, but it’s looking like the Stephenville-based Whitestone Group will have everything finished by the end of this week.
The next step will be to secure an occupancy permit from the city, and Churchill said the corporation hopes to be able to set a March 1 move-in date by the end of this month.
He said that will give any of the tenants who have to provide notice on current living accommodations time to do so.
Churchill has been at the site every day since construction started last May and, looking at the complex now, said it’s hard to imagine how the building looked before.
“There’s no resemblance to what was there anymore. It’s totally apartments now,” said Churchill. “Just a total transformation.”
He describes the apartments as modest and beautiful. Windows in the units provide views of the Park Street area and the city. The three-storey facility also contains a common area for residents, church office space, meeting rooms, accessible washrooms and an elevator.
Six of the units have their own outside access and the other four are accessible from one of three common entrances, one of which is located near the elevator and also provides access to the church.
The apartment project cost just over $2 million. Of that, the federal and provincial governments contributed a combined investment of more than $1.3 million through the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Agreement.
The federal government’s $649,000 contribution came through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the province’s $664,000 through the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC).
Revenue generated from the apartments will go to cover maintenance and to pay the mortgage Parkview Apartments Inc. has on the facility.
Rent for the units is subsidized by NLHC and prospective tenants had to meet an income criteria. The yearly income for eligible tenants cannot exceed $32,500.
While the units are filled now, Churchill said the corporation will maintain a waiting list and people are welcome to apply at any time.
Meanwhile, he noted that an official opening for the building will be organized by NLHC at a later date.