Although Berwick Qualicum Beach is not yet completed, the company already has plans for another facility not too far away.
Heather Kauer, City of Parksville manager of planning and development, said Berwick Retirement Communities applied for a development permit at the end of December, 2017. The land located at 180 Jensen Ave., Kauer said, is already zoned for the project and the company has placed a large sign stating Berwick is coming to Parksville.
The proposed facility would have 188 units, Kauer said.
Blaine Russell, community planning director, said the development is expected in front of council by May at the latest, but it could come forward sooner. He said with the development permit, council would be looking at the form, character and architecture of the building.
Kauer said the facility would include some underground parking and some surface parking. She also said there would be a dining facility, a proposed theatre and a daycare centre associated with the building.
Lena Foran, Berwick sales and marketing director, told the The NEWS none of Berwick’s six other locations throughout the province include daycares.
“We do have a location in Comox where we do have some retail spaces that we do lease out to some other business,” Foran said.
The idea for a daycare in a Berwick facility isn’t new.
Qualicum Beach councillors Neil Horner and Anne Skipsey suggested at a council meeting in October of 2016 that a daycare in that town’s facility would be a good way to create an intergenerational community.
The idea for a daycare in the Qualicum Beach location never took off. Chris Denford, who was representing Berwick Qualicum Beach at that meeting, said the 94-unit multi-residential development is geared toward more active seniors.
Asked if the idea for a daycare centre in Parksville came from Qualicum Beach, Foran said, “I think it was just an opportunity with Parksville. There was some room for some retail spaces and that’s kind of how that came about.”
When Berwick Qualicum Beach first came through council, Berwick representatives said more than 100 people expressed their interest in moving into the location once it is complete. Foran said some of those people were from Parksville and other surrounding areas.
Foran said that interest didn’t influence Berwick’s decision to expand into Parksville.
In Qualicum Beach, construction on the Berwick facility began in summer of 2017. Foran said “things are progressing quite well on the Qualicum Beach property.” She said the facility is expected to open in spring of 2019.