A $7.1-million affordable housing project to be operated by the Kiwanis Club of Brandon will go ahead at 30 Third St., the project’s comptroller, D’Arcy Barker, said.
The project will produce a minimum of a seven-storey, 38-suite complex that provides housing for people with disabilities and those in need of low-income housing.
Barker said there is a “massive need” for low-income housing in the city and this project would attempt to help address the need for people of all ages.
“There may be more, if once the plans get formally approved, Manitoba Housing may ask for another floor,” Barker said. “They may say to make it eight storeys and add another six suites if the economies of scale shift to a lower per-unit cost. It definitely won’t be less (than seven storeys), but it could be more.”
Construction can now start because the city has sold a small parcel of land, for $1, that was required so the project’s parking lot could secure the legally required access to a street required by law. Shovels had been intended to hit the ground in early November.
“Because there is a delay in transferring and amalgamating the titles for that land, there will be a delay in construction,” Barker said. “I haven’t met with Manitoba Housing yet to determine the new timeline. Right now the architects are finalizing the drawings and we are in the process of selecting a contractor.”
The end result of the land transfer is a building with a street address on Third Street, that has no direct access to Third Street. Instead, traffic to and from the building uses a lane to get to Rosser Avenue.
The local Kiwanis club had, in 1992, put in seed money for Westman Kiwanis Court, and will have money invested in the new, yet-to-be named structure. The project will receive provincial government funding through Manitoba Housing.
Barker said the board of directors is taking suggestions for a building name from the club, but noted the word “Kiwanis” will appear somewhere in the name as the local club secured the naming rights.
“I can say the name will not be Westman Kiwanis Court,” Barker said.
The complex will be constructed on the site of an old downtown car wash, and to the west of the site, a new parking lot will be built.
“We would have wanted to be right on Rosser Avenue, and who knows, that may come eventually,” Barker said.
Barker was not certain if a second building could be added to the site, noting it would depend on architectural drawings for the site, whether there was enough room to ensure adequate esthetics and to prevent one building’s residents from a view of little more than bricks and mortar of the other structure.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 27, 2012