St. Paul to be pilot community for a new approach to senior’s housing
Dixie Dahlstedt presented a new approach to seniors’ living to St. Paul Town Council on Monday evening. Should financing and land purchase be successful Dahlstedt hopes that St. Paul will be the pilot community for the project, her company Dahlstedt Properties, is developing. The project looks at keeping seniors independent by bringing essential services to them and providing high-quality condo-style homes.
“This is a $27 million construction project that’ll provide a new dimension on senior housing to this community,” Dahlstedt explains the project aims to meet the needs of St. Paul’s growing senior population, as well as the needs of the seniors, themselves. Dahlstedt grew up in the St. Paul area before moving to New York to be an architect and has returned home to help with her aging parents. She realized that not only was there a lack of seniors’ housing, but there were some key problems with the current housing situations. “When I came back to look after my parents, I realized there was an incredible crisis in this province and more importantly, in rural Alberta. Some of the people weren’t getting the attention they need.” Mainly, that the housing left seniors feeling lonely, the structures isolated them and in some cases made it hard for seniors to be mobile. Often-times the housing separated spouses if their care was different; for example one spouse with dementia may be housed at a different facility than the spouse with just aging care needs. Dahlstedt aims to eliminate problems like these with Country Garden Villas.
Country Garden Villas would be designed to foster communities within the facility. Each complex would face gardens on each side, rather than other buildings. The design will be functional for seniors with mobility issues and they have high-quality, modern design features that you would expect in any home. “They would not be institutional,” explains Dahlstedt, “you would retain that home feeling with high-quality fixtures and appliances.” The condos would be privately owned, so seniors would remain independent in their finances and retain the ability to sell should they move for whatever reason; unlike other seniors’ housing which require monthly “rent”.
The complex is planned for the north-end of St. Paul, near the end of town, but within the limits. Dahstedt says the group is in negotiations for ten acres of land, with the facility needing two acres to start, “we’re looking at future growth.” Possibilities for more independent housing is available, as well as ideas for extended care facility nearby, “so spouses can visit each other if they require different care. There won’t be a need to travel all over.”
Dahlstedt is working with local companies to help build a network of services that could be brought to the seniors. For example grocery delivery or plumbers that would be on-call to service the complex. There are also possibilities of in-house nurse, Dahlstedt explains that although in the early stages she has thought of that as well, “residents can pay $100 a month, let’s say, and that could cover the nurse’s salary.” Dahlstedt has also been working with Apple, “this could become an Apple home. That may not be appealing to the seniors now, but think about it in a couple years that will really be needed. I know someday I’ll be there and will want that.”
The complex would come with a common area, with games and community areas; as well as board rooms which residents could rent out for larger functions. “Each unit will comfortably seat twelve people, so for private dining you still have a lot of room. But there will be options for larger functions.”
Units can include a heated attached garage, as well as loft space. The loft space can be suited to fit a storage room or one to two spare bedrooms. Other than the loft space, each unit will be fully finished, “I don’t believe in luring people in and then not giving what I’ve advertised,” assures Dahlstedt, who says the units will have high-quality finishes and Kitchen-aid appliances standard in the price. 850 square foot units would start at $250,000.
Dahlstedt has requested of Council to work with her in determining what taxes on the units would be, as well as any information they can give her to assist in the project. Mayor Glenn Andersen stated that he would assist Dahlstedt with giving her contacts to Provincial Government persons who may help with grants or funding assistance for seniors’ housing initiatives.
If you are interested in learning more about Country Garden Villas or becoming an investor contact Dahlstedt Properties Director of Marketing & Sales, Stacy Sandmeyer 780-826-3808.