A shot of the sunset from Ambrosia’s second floor. (Sarah Martin - LSCSS Photo)

A shot of the sunset from Ambrosia’s second floor. (Sarah Martin - LSCSS Photo)

Affordable housing complex rising up to second-storey in Similkameen community

Ambrosia will see the village of Keremeos’ first elevator

The Ambrosia housing development in Keremeos is continuing on at its steady pace with the second-storey now underway.

The mixed-affordable housing complex run by the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society will also be host to the community’s first proper elevator when it is finished and ready for tenants in early 2022.

Having an elevator allows the complex to have some of the fully accessible suites on the second floor, and intersperse them with the other units in the building.

“It will be the first elevator in Keremeos,” said Sarah Martin, the executive director of the LSCSS . “Actually, there is a grain elevator somewhere. So this is the first human elevator. That’s an important distinction.”

As the walls on the second storey are being raised up, the shaft for the elevator is also being framed in.

The speedy work on the project has drawn praise from the LSCSS, with Mierau Contractors also supporting the local community with their work.

“They’re very well long days and very quickly,” said Martin. “They’re hiring local too, bringing on some local framers to the job.”

After the walls are finished being raised on the second storey, there will still be much more work to be finished, including the eventual installation of the appliances for all the suites.

READ MORE: Keremeos affordable housing suites coming along

The complex will have 53 parking spots on-site, with 10 for the employees of the LSCSS, and a charging station for electric vehicles. Inside, there will also be additional space for up to 32 scooters and bicycles.

“We fought really hard with BC Housing to get room for that many indoor heated scooter parking spaces,” said Martin.

Those parking spots are less than what would be required for the development by Village bylaw, but the LSCSS did receive a variance from the council for the property.

“The argument being, with so many scooter stalls, and it right beside the grocery store and across the street from the pharmacy,” said Julie Ellison, the manager of operations and finace for the LSCSS.

Further considerations were also taken into account, including the demographics of the community and average income of residents.

Outside, there will be a small play-space, and room for some residents to plant and grow a few small beds.

The LSCSS will maintain their offices, as well as room for their programs and counseling services on one front of the building, as part of making it a multi-service complex.

“We do everything from infants to the elderly,” said Ellison.

As part of the work being done on and around Ambrosia, the village is upgrading the water mains, which will improve capacity for Ambrosia, other businesses in the area and future developments east of the affordable housing complex, according to the village’s chief administrative officer Marg Coulson.

The water main upgrades are expected to take up to ten weeks, starting on April 1, with 7th Ave. and Veterans Ave. closed around the Ambrosia development for the work.

In addition to upgrading the water lines, new fire hydrants will also be installed as part of the work.

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