Welland retirement home residence underway

by Nathaniel Johnson, The Welland Tribune

Work on a five-storey, 130-unit retirement home residence behind Welland Community Wellness Complex is underway, said Mayor Frank Campion.

“I’m very happy to see the project moving forward,” he said.

An excavator was busy tearing up the wellness complex parking lot on the south side, and a bulldozer and vibration road roller were busy levelling gravel on the east side. Fencing has gone up around the whole site, which also includes two nearby parcels of land for future retail use.

It’s expected there will be some disruptions around the complex for a short period of time as infrastructure is put in place.

The retirement home residence is being built by Plazacorp Investments, a Toronto-based condo developer, and when complete it will sit on the east bank of Welland Recreational Canal just south of the wellness complex.

“Plazacorp and its associated companies are very good to work with, they’re very committed to the community and want to provide a world-class residence,” said Campion.

He said the company threw some challenges at the city with the development and city staff were able to meet them.

When the development was proposed, Plazacorp and the city worked out a land swap that allowed the company to buy the wellness complex’s parking lot to build the retirement home residence.

“They are going to build a new parking lot for us, at their cost, on the east side of the complex,” said Campion, adding that was the first phase of the project.

The mayor said having a new parking lot on the east side of the wellness complex may make it easier for those who use the facility. He said they won’t have to walk as far as they did with the current lot, which stretched south toward the curling club,

“Part of the reason we sold the parking lot was that it was wasted space on the waterfront.”

When the new building is complete, Campion said it will tie into the wellness complex with a common entrance.

“People who move into the new development will have access to the wellness complex and our residents will have access to certain common amenities in their building.”

Campion said Plazacorp will utilize lands 4.1 acres of brownfield land that fronts both King Street and Lincoln Street for future retail use. He believed the company was in negotiations to determine exactly what the uses would be for each parcel.

Those parcels had originally been purchased by the city as the location of a new fire hall but were declared surplus and sold to Plazacorp in 2016.