Senior housing could once again be on the minds of Prince George Council.

Representatives from New Essence HealthCare Management and Vancouver Resource Society presented to council Monday evening about the possibility of a “Seniors Care Community”. The proposed multi-phase project would include 150 suites of mixed use for independent residents, assisted living residents, and memory care support.

“With the aging demographic here, it seems like an opportune time to start to collaborate with Council and look for opportunities to get them involved and solve a problem that exists here,” says VSR Director of Operations Martin Gardner.

Multiple similar projects have been completed by the team who presented, including Vernon, Penticton, Victoria, and North Cowichan. This would be the first project in northern BC, but New Essence HealthCare Management CEO and Owner Gary Tamblyn says PG has been in their vision for about two years.

“It does take a lot of time to ensure that everything is proper and not rushed. The right partnership is very important, the right builder is very important, so one of those things we don’t rush is seniors housing.

“It is evident there is a greater need [for seniors housing] here than in the Okanagan because a lot of people want to stay in the community and that has changed. Years ago they would go to the cities but it’s totally different now.”

The groups will now work with the City to see if this project is one both parties will agree to do. Also on the to-do list is find a property where seniors would want to live. The presenters warn it could take some time but insist they are committed. Ideally, Tamblyn says his dream is to “dig some dirt” by next year.