160 new housing units in Old Aylmer
---Former Aylmer Academy makes way for Lib Project on Principale
Currently under construction, EDM-Batimo’s upcoming Lib Aylmer residential project in the heart of Aylmer is planned to meet the aging population’s modern needs while resurrecting a historic local building.
Designed for active 55-plus year old residents to live in luxury, leisure and comfort, EDM-Batimo’s President Francis Charron told the Aylmer Bulletin that the project is special because it integrates local heritage while housing at least a couple of hundred residents in a modern complex. Located on the intersection of rue Principale and boulevard Wilfrid-Lavigne - at the site of the old Aylmer Academy – the six-floor 160-plus unit complex is expected to open in the fall of 2022.
Built in 1861, the Aylmer Academy formerly served as an elementary school, and as an election office. “People know and associate themselves with this building and we’re giving it a second life,” Charron said. Intended to combine quality and elegance with a contemporary design and heritage appeal, the building will provide a selection of two-and-a-half to five-and-a-half bedroom units of 517 to 1,318 square feet in a variety of styles and offered amenities. To integrate local heritage, four luxurious 1,317 square-foot units will be built inside the old Aylmer Academy – retaining its original stone walls.
The newly-built portion of the complex is expected to include a green roof and a landscaped courtyard with trees and shrubs. Providing numerous multipurpose common areas for residents to work, socialize and be active, the project will include a business centre, a large lounge, a heated swimming pool, and training rooms. It will also feature an indoor courtyard with a golf simulator, and a full community kitchen, with an outdoor terrace for barbecuing. The building will also boast a few commercial spaces, and an indoor parking lot.
Charron explained that the name of the project derives from the word liberty because the intention is to allow residents to live comfortably and freely. Stating that the local senior population is rising, Charron said the project provides an important service to the community. Calling the concept innovative and uniquely designed to meet the needs of active 55-plus year-olds and their guests, Charron says the project is much more than a typical rental condominium – comparing the idea to gated communities in Florida. “Although retirees and non-retirees are reaching the stage in their lives where they want to sell their homes, they are healthier and more active than previous generations,” Charron said in a press release issued by EDM-Batimo on June 7. “Traditional seniors’ residences do not attract them at all,” he added. “They’re looking for a modern, safe place with a social life and close essential services. The Lib Aylmer will allow them to enjoy life while reflecting their desires and their reality.”
Emphasizing the importance of social acceptability, Charron said EDM-Batimo conducted a rigorous consultation process with local residents and the Aylmer Heritage Association to make the project’s plans respond to public demand. “We worked really hard with focus groups to find out what people truly need, to ensure creating a product that responds to residents’ needs and not ours,” Charron said, stating that the project’s planning process included a number of public information sessions. “This project does not belong to me. It belongs to the citizens.” Charron said the most highly requested demands from the community were to preserve the academy as much as possible and revitalize it for future use, and to move the building further away from houses behind it. Stating that the project is in a great location, Charron commented on its being just a short walk away from the Ottawa River and the Aylmer Marina, and also close to a number of great golfing destinations.
Priced at approximately $55 million, the project is being built by local construction company GMR. Noting that the project is progressing positively, despite being in the works for a couple years, Aylmer district councillor Audrey Bureau commended Charron and EDM-Batimo for holding an exemplary consultation process and demonstrating the willingness to adjust the project to the community’s desires.
She added that residents were given the right to oppose the project, but no one expressed themselves in that regard. While empathizing with residents living behind the building, stating that they may be the most highly impacted by the project, Bureau said it’s strategically located and that its development was to be expected. “All the services are there and the Galeries Aylmer shopping centre is just across from it,” Bureau said. “So, I think it’s the right location for this project.”
Founded in 1998, EDM-Batimo is a construction company based in Boisbriand, Que., specializing in developing real estate projects in the province, notably residential complexes, retirement homes and condominiums. EDM-Batimo encourages people to schedule appointments to visit its rental office by consulting its website – lelib.ca – or by calling (819) 557-1140.