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The Aven Pavilion project, which aims to build 102 seniors housing units before 2023, has received a development permit from the City of Yellowknife, according to an April 16 news release.

AVENS- A Community for Seniors announced that the affordable and supportive housing units are planned for construction by late fall 2022.

Daryl Dolynny, CEO of AVENS: A Community for Seniors said this week that increasing prices on building supplies due to the COVID-19 pandemic have put pressure on the need for the Aven Pavilion project to move forward.
NNSL file photo

“The receipt of a development permit from the City of Yellowknife on (April 16, 2021), means that construction work can start on the Avens Pavilion in late April, provided there are no further delays due to development permit appeals,” states the news release.

In February 2020, AVENS announced its intent to build the much needed seniors units on its 10-acre campus that will include 92 one-bedroom units and 10 two-bedroom units.

In January, Yellowknife city council approved the use of land on the AVENS site for the development of seniors housing.

Marion LaVigne, chair of the AVENS board of directors, said in a statement that the project is expected to proceed on schedule in order to meet the housing needs of northern seniors.

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“During the development permit application process, we acknowledged the concerns brought to our attention by fellow Yellowknifers and AVENS neighbours, and our design and development team worked with the City to resolve these concerns as completely as possible,” he said.

“Any delay in finalizing the development permit, could jeopardize the project funding and could also have devastating impacts on both the cost of the project and the lives of many seniors in need of affordable and supportive housing.”

Daryl Dolynny, president and CEO of AVENS – A Community for Seniors said that the current concern for the project is the impact of commodity prices due to the pandemic.

“There have been dramatic increases in the cost of lumber (300 per cent) and metal siding (28 per cent) and with a set budget, it is imperative that we finalize our development permit without delay, so we can access our funding and start sourcing materials as soon as possible,” he said.

“We also know this project will have a positive effect on our economy, with many of our northern contractors waiting to get started on this $40 million community project.”

According to the release, design work for the pavilion is under way and over the next few months, AVENS will be seeking seniors’ input on specific facilities and services to be incorporated into the project.

The project team also will develop criteria for qualifying applicants.

AVENS expects to have rental packages available as early as this fall and could start accepting applications for apartment rentals later this year if the project proceeds as planned, according to the release.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. A through and through "County boy" from Prince Edward County, Ont., Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin...

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