Charis Village commences construction on Chinook Villa

The Charis Village Chinook Villa, a 46-unit independent living apartment, is now under construction. Architect rendering

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The Charis Village seniors housing project is now making the transition from architectural drawings to reality.

With warmer temperatures finally here, construction on the four-storey, 24-unit Chinook Villa apartment building is officially underway.

According to the Charis Village Housing Society’s Shelley Agrey, pilings are set to be finished within the next few days, plumbing is already starting this week, while streets and sidewalks are slated to be installed in August.

With the project now moving forward, a new round of information sessions is underway. Two have already been held with a fair amount of interest, while others are slated for Wednesday, May 22, Tuesday May 28 and Wednesday May 29 in the County Room at the Lacombe Memorial Centre, all beginning at 7 p.m.

“We had about 32 people attend and it looks like more people have come by to get more information,” she said, but noted that it’s a tough time to try and sell their spaces given there’s no tangible building at the moment, not to mention the economy and current housing market.

“I think people are reluctant to sell – if the market picks up I think that will help because no one wants to take a big hit….but it’s also not up yet. It’s hard for people to buy without seeing.”

That will soon change, as the first phase is expected to be completed by early 2020 if not sooner.

The project has been in the works for almost a decade, but ground was only broke last October. Estimated to be a $22-million project in Henner’s Heights near Henner’s Pond on Lacombe’s north end, it will start off offering independent living units, with assisted living and long term care facilities to meet the medical, mental and spiritual needs of residents to come in later phases.

Chinook Villa, four-storey apartment, is part of the first phase now beginning construction. It will have a first floor common area, heated underground parking, storage for every suite, as well as quality interior furnishings. Suites will range from 908-1,394 square feet.

Duplex units are also part of the early phases, and set for construction when life leases are signed.

At present, Agrey says two of the duplex units are spoken for, and several condos are under consideration.

As for what those attending the information sessions will learn, she says it’ll be an overview of Charis Village and their offerings.

“People need to understand it’s a not-for-profit, which is different than what we’ve had before, as well as the size of the units – once they see the layouts and size, people are surprised how spacious they are,” said Agrey. “Eagle Builders is building it, so they’re high-quality units.”

Explanations of how a life lease works and why someone might be interested in one will also be part of the information sessions, not to mention the opportunity to meet Charis Village board members and those behind the project.

For more information on Charis Village, visit, find Charis Village on Facebook, or call (403)506-0051. Alternatively, stop by the Charis Village Housing Society’s sales office in downtown Lacombe at #306 Parkland Place, 5033-52 St.