By Laura Lennie, News Staff
Construction of the new seniors’ complex on the old Stoney Creek Dairy property is expected to begin this summer.
Matt Johnston, a senior planner for the IBI Group, who represents the owner of the 1.03-hectare site at 135-137 King St. E. and 42 Passmore St., says the firm is in the final stages of site plan approval with the city.
“A few remaining conditions are being addressed at this time, including dedicating a road widening, some fine tuning of the engineering plans, that must all be cleared prior to the submission of the building permit,” he said. “We’re moving full steam ahead, so you’ll probably see action out there by mid-summer. We’re probably looking at completion in about 18 to 24 months.”
Owned and operated by BayBridge Seniors Housing, the $17-million seniors’ complex will feature a five-storey, 140-suite retirement home offering varying levels of care, along with one commercial unit facing King Street East. It will also include eight townhouse units fronting Dawson Avenue.
Located on the first floor of the home, the 1,000-square-foot commercial unit will house a dairy bar. The store will sell ice cream and other snacks and will be open to the public, with direct entrance from King Street.
In addition, the complex will feature seating areas, sidewalks and walkways for residents.
The facility’s main entrance will be from King Street for residents, visitors and loading.
The seniors’ complex was first proposed in 2010 when the Stoney Creek Dairy was purchased and its plant closed.
The original plan included two five-storey buildings linked by a one-storey atrium with a total of 200 suites, which council approved in 2012. Area residents had expressed concerns about the height, traffic and parking issues the facility would draw to their neighbourhood.
Johnston said the approval was intended to establish the use of the lands in principle and to create the building envelope.
“Now that there is a confirmed operator, they have refined the plan to suite their business program,” he said.
Johnston said contaminated soil found on the property also has been remediated.
A phase two environmental site assessment was conducted on the site between September 2011 and February 2012 by a consultant hired by the developers, revealing about 9,900 tonnes of soil that had to be removed and disposed. Bore hole testing found soil with metals consistent with a former underground storage tank buried in the ground.
In addition, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals were found in two separate areas of the property and benzene was located in groundwater on the northeast side of the site.
“Soil contamination from the former industrial site was remediated,” Johnston said, adding the process took about a year and utilized a city ERASE Redevelopment grant of about $853,000. “The Ministry of the Environment has issued a Record of Site Condition confirming the site is now clean.”