Plans in mo­tion

Port Wil­liams co-hous­ing de­vel­op­ment de­signs to be com­pleted within next six months

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COVER STORY - BY SARA ERIC­S­SON KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA SaraEric­s­son@kingscountynews.ca

A lo­cal co-hous­ing move­ment is gain­ing trac­tion af­ter the cou­ple spear­head­ing the project have pur­chased the land and started se­cur­ing in­vestors.

Bruce McLeod and Lois Bowden, both emer­gency de­part­ment doc­tors at Val­ley Re­gional Hospi­tal in Kentville, are mov­ing for­ward with their co- hous­ing de­vel­op­ment plan for Port Wil­liams.

The cou­ple be­gan con­sult­ing with in­ter­ested par­ties in the spring of 2017, and have since pur­chased 27 acres in Port Wil­liams, with a por­tion to be used for this project, which stresses the im­por­tance of com­mu­nity and how it re­lates to healthy liv­ing — es­pe­cially for se­niors.

“It’s a huge de­ter­mi­nant of health You die sooner and you get sick sooner, if you are so­cially iso­lated. And it’s very easy to be so­cially iso­lated even with a crowd around you,” says McLeod “So, this will help fight that.” The con­cept re­mains the same — in­di­vid­ual units built ei­ther around or at­tached to a 3,000 square foot shared main build- ing — and a fo­cus on cre­at­ing a so­cial com­mu­nity of free thinkers want­ing to live to­gether.

The cou­ple has part­nered with a ma­jor in­vestor in Hal­i­fax, fel­low doc­tor Ken Rock­wood, who, as a na­tion­ally ac­claimed geri­a­tri­cian, is ex­tremely in­ter­ested in the project, which was pitched as a se­nior- liv­ing de­vel­op­ment.

But the cou­ple now an­tic­i­pate peo­ple in­vest­ing in units long be­fore ac­tu­ally need­ing them.

“Be­ing for all ages would mean peo­ple would be ex­posed to an in­ter- gen­er­a­tional com­mu­nity, which ben­e­fits every­one,” said Bowden.

“I don’t want it to sound elit­ist, but it would work if you’re like-minded. You don’t have to be highly ed­u­cated, but you do need peo­ple that are cu­ri­ous and will­ing to be part of the group.”

The land in Port Wil­liams has been cho­sen due to its semi­ur­ban con­text — raw enough to main­tain af­ford­abil­ity, yet de­vel­oped enough to hold much prom­ise, ac­cord­ing to the cou­ple.

The cou­ple plans to start de­vel­op­ing con­cept de­signs within six months, and will then be­gin ne­go­ti­a­tions with the County of Kings mu­nic­i­pal­ity. They hope to break ground in late 2020, or early 2021. The es­ti­mated cost for each unit is pro­jected at $300,000, which in­cludes use of the com­mon house and the land.

It’s a de­vel­op­ment that is gain­ing trac­tion. McLeod re­ceives emails ev­ery week from in­ter­ested par­ties.

“You get the money, you get the land, you get the group, you get en­gage­ment — and then all of a sud­den it just takes off,” said Bowden.

“It’s cer­tainly not for every­one, and that’s ok — it’s a cer­tain kind of per­son a com­mu­nity like this ap­peals to,” said McLeod.

SARA ERIC­S­SON

Emer­gency de­part­ment doc­tors and part­ners Brian McLeod and Lois Bowden will soon de­velop con­cept de­signs for their co-hous­ing de­vel­op­ment in Port Wil­liams. They’ve re­cently pur­chased the land, and have in­vestors al­ready in­ter­ested in the project.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.