Condo of­fers new lease on life

Cou­ple en­joys re­tire­ment project within Cam­rose

Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condo - JANE CARDILLO

CAM­ROSE, ALTA.

For Sylvia En­gen Espe, life at 80 is won­der­ful, so when the op­por­tu­nity arose for the Cam­rose woman and her hus­band, Hans, to move into a new re­tire­ment condo in the com­mu­nity, she felt it could only get bet­ter.

“My hus­band and I de­cided that snow shov­el­ling in win­ter and the steady up­keep of yard­work in the sum­mer are tasks best un­der­taken by younger peo­ple,” says En­gen Espe.

“Life gets pre­cious the older you get and ev­ery day’s a gift. We felt that we should think about the fu­ture be­cause should ill­ness oc­cur sud­denly, it’s good to have op­tions.”

The Es­pes plan to pur­chase an apart­ment in Brook­side, a four­storey, “life-lease” con­do­minium apart­ment that over­looks Stoney Creek in Cam­rose, a city of 16,000 an hour’s drive south­east of Ed­mon­ton.

Construction of the project by the Bethany Group is ex­pected to start in Jan­uary, with a com­ple­tion date of spring 2011.

The build­ing of­fers one-bed­room, one-bed­room plus den and two-bed­room apart­ments, rang­ing in size from about 685 to 1,000 square feet. Prices start at $169,000.

Should a res­i­dent de­cide to leave, their life-lease in­vest­ment is fully re­fund­able, says De­nis Beesley, pres­i­dent of the Luther­anaf­fil­i­ated Bethany Group.

“If you pay $200,000, you will get $200,000 back.”

Un­der the life-lease plan, res­i­dents buy an in­ter­est in both the prop­erty and their suite, sim­i­lar to pur­chas­ing a home or con­do­minium. Ac­tual own­er­ship and ti­tle of the prop­erty re­main in the name of the Bethany Group.

Res­i­dents have exclusive use of their suite and shared use of all com­mon ar­eas and fa­cil­i­ties.

Monthly fees, sim­i­lar to condo fees, are paid by res­i­dents to cover such costs as build­ing main­te­nance, in­sur­ance and up­keep.

If a res­i­dent or their es­tate wishes to sell, the pur­chase price of the life lease will be re­funded within three months of ter­mi­na­tion of the agree­ment.

The Es­pes chose a one-bed­room plus den. All suites have full kitchens with dish­washer, over-therange mi­crowave, re­frig­er­a­tor and stove.

They also come with washer and dryer and win­dow cov­er­ings.

The build­ing has an emer­gen­cy­call sys­tem, un­der­ground park­ing, a man­ager and staff on-site dur­ing the day and 24-hour mon­i­tored se­cu­rity. House­keep­ing ser­vices will also be avail­able.

The apart­ments are geared to­ward help­ing se­niors main­tain an in­de­pen­dent, ac­tive life, says Beesley.

All door­ways, halls and wash­rooms will ac­com­mo­date a wheel­chair or walker. The bath­rooms have custom five-foot show­ers and higher toi­lets.

“We try to en­cour­age your in­de­pen­dence,” says Beesley.

“It re­ally is more of a sup­port­ive life­style and by hav­ing a more sup­port­ive life­style, peo­ple would tend to stay longer in this build­ing than they would in their own homes.”

Bethany Group has two other life-lease projects in Cam­rose. Hill­side Vil­lage and Lake­side Vil­lage have proven im­mensely pop­u­lar with se­niors, says En­gen Espe.

“We had our name on the wait­ing list and we were 95,” she says. “The de­mand is great and we have peo­ple even from Ed­mon­ton that are in­ter­ested in Brook­side.”

Beesley says Cam­rose has be­come some­what of a se­niors’ des­ti­na­tion.

Cour­tesy, Bethany Group

An artist’s ren­der­ing of the four-storey Brook­side project in Cam­rose.

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