Developer of project near Jubilee hospital offers $1M for affordable housing

The developer of a proposed new assisted-living project near Royal Jubilee Hospital has offered Victoria $1 million toward affordable housing in the city.

Milliken Real Estate Corp.wants to build 137 units of assisted living, memory care and independent living over ground-floor commercial in a five-storey building to be known as Maison Victoria Seniors at 1900-1912 Richmond Rd.

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The care facility would replace an older four-storey medical building at Fort and Birch streets known for its Rod of Asclepius symbol — depicting a snake entwined on a rod — fixed on the exterior facing Fort. It’s an ancient symbol associated with medicine.

The offer of $1 million to the city’s housing affordability fund came after some councillors earlier balked at sending the proposal to public hearing without some sort of affordability built in.

Staff say that Milliken maintains building in affordability would be difficult to manage due to the “unique and changing care requirements for residents” in the new facility. However, in recognizing the need for affordable housing, it offered the $1 million contribution to the housing reserve fund.

Milliken also agreed to restrict the use of proposed commercial space in the new building for medical uses only. Some neighbours had raised concerns about the loss of medical facilities such as the drop-in clinic in the existing building.

Councillors agreed to forward the proposal to public hearing.

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