Friday, May 12, 2017

Most on City Council show enthusiasm for renovation plans for old Neptune Inn

Prince Rupert City Council has moved
the proposed redevelopment of the
Neptune Inn into Seniors Housing to the
Public Hearing phase
Prince Rupert City Council moved the process of review for a proposed renovation of the old Neptune Inn Hotel on to the Public Hearing phase on Monday evening, with a number of the Council's seven members weighing in on the discussion.

The development which is being proposed by Macro Properties would see the now closed Neptune renovated as a Senior's Housing facility, re-purposing the building, with an eye on the shortage of available units in the community for those in their senior years or approaching them.

City Planner Zeno Kerkic provided the latest update on the project for Council, observing as to some of the themes from a recent public information session hosted by Macro to provide a look at their plans for the property in the Yellowhead industrial site off of Chamberlain Road.

Should they receive approval for their proposal, the new housing structure would be known as the Hill Top Lodge for Seniors.

Some of the notes of concern that have been expressed to this point include thoughts on the lack of transportation options to that part of the light industrial area, as well as the potential of noise in the immediate area, as the residential units will border on some active industrial businesses.

City Planner Zeno Krekic provided an
update on the plans for development of
seniors housing  for the
old Neptune Inn building
Following Mr. Krekic's overview of the proposed development, the Mayor and a number of City Councillors provided their thoughts on the housing proposal, with many of those that spoke to the issue offering their strong support and in some cases praise of the plan and how it addresses some of the need in the community.

Councillor Kinney offered up that he didn't believe anyone should be opposed to the project, while Councillors Niesh and Cunningham had strong opinions in favour of the development.

For his part, Mr. Cunningham noted that the Macro proposal, much like another project proposed by the Metlakatla Development Corporation will help to address the city's frequent concerns over seniors housing in the community.

And while she didn't offer up any opposition to the Macro proposal, Councillor Thorkelson wasn't quire ready to sing the praises of the company, as she reminded the other Council members that Macro had evicted all of the previous tenants that had been living in the Neptune prior to the development of their renovation plans.

Ms. Thorkelson recounted for Council that those residents were tenants who didn't have a lot of money, though she did note that hopefully many of them will be able to take advantage of the new living space if it is developed.

A look back at the issue of that time offers up the review as to how the Neptune Inn had been closed by the owners in May of 2015, requiring those staying in the east side units to find new accommodations.

After the conversation came to a conclusion, Council voted to move the process ahead to a Public Hearing, that public meeting has been schedule for June 12th at 7PM prior to the Regular Council session for that night.

During the course of that Public Hearing, those that may have an interest in the proposal will have opportunity to provide their feedback on the Macro plans. From those comments, City Council will be able to get a better understanding as to the impact, if any that the housing concept may have for local residents.

The package of information that was provide for Council members on Monday evening can be examined from the City Council Agenda package for May 8th, the Neptune notes are found on page 133.

A larger overview of Mr. Krekic's presentation and the back and forth discussion among Council members can be found on our City Council Timeline feature here.

You can also review those discussions from the City's Video Archive, the Neptune proposal comes up at the one hour, eighteen minute mark.

For more notes on the Macro proposal can be found below:

April date set for Public Information Session on Neptune Inn conversion proposal
Council moves forward with Neptune Inn plan for Seniors Housing
Details on proposed Seniors Housing project for Neptune site to be reviewed by Council

Other notes on Housing in the Northwest can be found on our archive page here.

Further items related to City Council sessions can be examined on City Council Archive page here.

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