The first of several four-unit, energy-efficient residential buildings geared toward active seniors that has just been completed on Adams Street, is generating a lot of interest from aging baby boomers looking for the quality of life offered in the town of Lunenburg, says developer Martin Tanner.
“We’ve already two rented two,” said Tanner as construction was nearing completion. There’s a lot of interest so I think once they are finished, they will rent fairly quickly. We’re hoping to start another building in September right next door.” Described as townhouses, Tanner said the 800-square-foot, two-bedroom units were built with active seniors in mind. “We’ve been proactive in the sense that we’ve put in walk-in showers and raised all the plugs up. We’ve used 36-inch doors [that] allow for mobility devices. If their need changes, there’s no stairs. It just an active senior lifestyle building. There’s nothing in the town like that. You can drive up to [the] front door, get out and walk into your house. You have all the convenience of apartment living but still have all the benefits of being in your own home. You can have a little garden, you can have [a] small dog or cat …,” noting the units “are not built barrier-free but with an aging in place philosophy.”
Downsizing is a national trend, said Tanner. “People are living longer, maybe healthier and more active. People just don’t want to deal with shovelling snow or fixing the tap when it leaks. We’re more of a convenience-driven society.”
The population curve and the ever-growing number of baby boomers is “a ginormous market,” said Tanner. “We’re catering to that demographic now that are retired, want to downsize and lessen the burden. I see this as a real opportunity for the Town of Lunenburg. It’s got a grocery store, a liquor store, a gym, a pharmacy, shopping, a lot of restaurants, a curling rink, a hockey rink, a new school and the one thing a small town of 2,200 people can’t often boost about is they have a small hospital, so there’s a lot of things the town can offer.”
A project of Stonehurst Development, Tanner said plans are to start construction on another four-unit building in the fall, which will be a mirror image to the one just completed. Each two-bedroom unit is around 800 square feet, has an insulating concrete form foundation and R25 insulation in the walls, so [the units] will be “pretty warm and energy efficient,” said Tanner. Heating is by conventional electric baseboards and heat pumps.